PORT HAWKESBURY: The RCMP confirmed it is investigating a couple of bizarre incidents in the town.
A Facebook post made by Keisha Price on June 12, describes an encounter relayed to her by a co-worker in the parking lot of the Causeway Shopping Centre when a woman in her 60s approached her co-worker with a bouquet of roses and a pamphlet.
The woman, who Price said in the post was wearing a bright green blouse and black pants, told Price’s co-worker that her brother died and she needs money for funeral expenses.
“So automatically my co-worker wanted to help and had a $10 bill in her hand and the lady tried to grab it from her and [said] ‘I’ll give you $5 back,’” the post reads.
When Price’s co-worker went to her car for money, the post says the unidentified woman saw more change in the car and then tried to reach in and grab that from her as a large black van was parked next to the woman.
Because her co-worker became “uncomfortable,” Price said she gave the rose back to her and the unidentified woman walked away, and the large black van was gone.
“These two women seemed well off, they had the money to buy a huge bouquet of flowers which was odd to me why she would be spending money to buy on expensive roses and not keep it? Price’s post reads. “This is terrifying! Plus this person would have been in the obituary if this person was real. If you experience this, report to police right away so they can get these creeps off the street!”
In the same post, Price recalled an incident she was involved in upon leaving the Walmart in Port Hawkesbury around noon time on June 11.
A woman with a long beige and white skirt, with sparkly designs and a bright red blouse, handed Price a flower from the bouquet she was carrying.
The woman asked Price for money to help pay for the burial of her brother and when Price went to her car to look for money, the woman entered the back seat to look for money in Price’s car. When Price was only able to find five cents, the woman told her it wasn’t enough and asked for her flower back.
“At this point, I kind of felt like it was a set up because I too had a black van parked in front of me where she came from,” the post reads.
Price’s post, which attracted more than 1,000 comments, was shared almost 4,000 times and garnered more than 600 reactions, including Strait area residents reporting similar incidents in front of other businesses around Port Hawkesbury and Antigonish.
Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cst. Jennifer Clarke told The Reporter the woman and her co-worker were just trying to help.
“It’s hard to know what the intent of this operation was, however, very disconcerting to hear that the black van was blocking the person in when they were trying to help these women,” Clarke said.
Cst. Clarke confirmed that the Port Hawkesbury RCMP detachment has received “at least” one report and officers are currently investigating.
“We would advise the victims in these cases to contact us and provide as much detail as possible about the two women, the van, and the driver of the van,” Cst. Clarke said. “This might help us identify them, or link them to another similar incident if it happens again.”
On June 20, Nova Scotia RCMP warned the public about the scam. The RCMP said several incidents were reported from around the province, including Port Hawkesbury. Police are asking members of the public to be so they don’t give money to someone who is collecting it fraudulently.
Anyone who has information or can provide details about the people or vehicles involved with these scams is asked to contact the RCMP by calling 1-800-803-RCMP anywhere in Nova Scotia. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS.