Vt. State Police - 1:40 pm Wed Dec 5th, 2012
Today, December 5, 2012, the Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Vermont State Police (VSP) discussed growing concerns about a series of suspicious incidents that have transpired related to suspects impersonating DCF employees.
The most recent incident occurring on December 3 in Sunderland.
On October 29, the Vermont State Police received a report from the St. Johnsbury area in which a Caucasian female came to a residence at the Mountain View Apartments saying she was a DCF worker and was investigating a report of child abuse. The female suspect was granted access to the home; she inspected the child and left the premises without further incident. The female suspect was seen operating silver sedan, unknown make, model, or registration.
On December 1, the Lyndonville Police Department received a report in Lyndonville on Valley Lane that three woman (one African American and two Caucasian) came to the home claiming to be from "Human Services" (or "Home Health") and said they were "following up on a report that was made up the road". The male resident said the suspects inquired after the female resident, who was not home. When the female resident was not home, they left the premises without further incident. The suspects failed to show any identification and never exited their vehicle, which was described as a dark blue Ford Escape with New York plates.
Most recently, on December 3, the Vermont State Police received a report in Sunderland that three people (one female and two males) showed up at a residence on Phyller Dee Lane. The suspects advised the grandmother that the child's parents were under investigation by "child protection services". The suspects asked to search the residence and actually picked up the child for inspection. When the grandmother resisted their advances, the suspects insinuated that they may be back to take the child into custody and the child could go into foster care. The suspects then became nervous and left in two vehicles, one grey sedan and one maroon sedan, bearing unknown plates.
In all of these instances, there is no known active investigation by DCF involving the targeted families.
These incidents are under investigation by detectives with the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation. If anyone has information related to these incidents or suspects, please call the Vermont State Police at the St. Johnsbury Barracks (802-748-3111) or the Shaftsbury Barracks (802-442-5421). To submit an anonymous tip, send a text to "CRIMES" (274637) with keyword: VTIPS; or submit your anonymous tip online at www.vtips.info<http://www.vtips.info>.
Investigators, in conjunctions with DCF, want families to be aware of the follow safety precautions:
* All DCF employees have identification badges that they carry with them during official business.
* Citizens are encouraged to ask to have this identification produced to verify the employee.
* DCF workers cannot take emergency custody of a child without a court order.
* If someone claims to have a court order to take custody of a child, ask to see the court document.
* If you suspect someone is impersonating a DCF employee, call 911 immediately.
When more information becomes available, an update will be issued. The original press releases from the October incident is included below.
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VERMONT STATE POLICE
VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN and FAMILIES
Suspects Sought in Connection to Child Protective Services Impersonator
Vermont State Police, Public Information Officer Stephanie Dasaro - 802-241-5277
of Children and Families, Karen Shea, Child Protection and Field Operations Director - 802-769-2053
Vermont State Police
Date 10/29/2012 reported at 1706 hours
Case # 12B103539
Incident: Suspicious Incident, Woman claiming to be a DCF investigator.
Victim: Nicolas Balch age 32 of St. Johnsbury.
On 10/29/12, Nicolas Balch contacted State Police to report a suspicious incident at his residence at Mountain View Apartments in St. Johnsbury. Mr. Balch advised a female came to his residence on the same date between the hours of 2 and 4 P.M. She claimed to be a DCF investigator and requested to speak with him about an allegation of child abuse. Mr. Balch stated the woman appeared to be a legitimate DCF Investigator so he never asked for any type of identification. Mr. Balch reported the woman asked questions about his child, and then requested to examine his child. Mr. Balch stated he cooperated with the woman, and then she left. Mr. Balch contacted the local DCF office and was advised he was not the subject of an active investigation.
Mr. Balch described the woman as being in her 40's, green eyes with dark colored shoulder length hair with a slender build. He reported the woman was operating a silver colored sedan, unknown make and model. State Police are asking anyone that may have been in the area of the Mountain View Apartments on 10/29/2012 from 1400-1700 that may have witnessed something, or has information related to this incident to please contact the State Police at 802-748-3111.
Director Ruth Houtte, DCF office in St. Johnsbury advised that all DCF workers have identification badges that they carry with them during official business and citizens are encouraged to ask to have this identification produced to verify who they are speaking with.
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State of Vermont | Vermont Department of Public Safety
Submit An Anonymous Tip: Text CRIMES (274637) to Keyword VTIPS
Sunderland, VT 05250 (Set as Local)
St Johnsbury, VT 05819 (Set as Local)
Waterbury, VT 05676 (Set as Local)
Lyndonville, VT 05851 (Set as Local)