Couple Accused of Door-to-Door Scam

By Dan Stamm and Vince Lattanzio
|  Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010  |  Updated 6:18 AM EDT
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Man Exposes Alleged Fundraising Scam

New Castle County Police

Deborah and John Reilly are accused of scamming people.

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Man Exposes Alleged Fundraising Scam

John Bollmeier felt something just wasn't right when a couple came to his home asking for a donation. That hunch helped uncover a scam.
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A Delaware couple played on the goodness of people wanting to help out children as they ran a scam, according to New Castle County police.

John and Deborah Reilly of Hockessin, Del. allegedly went door-to-door in the Meadowdale community soliciting money for an upcoming Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fundraiser, according to police.

The Reillys allegedly claimed that they were new to the neighborhood and that their daughter suffered from diabetes, said police.

But instead of giving the money to the kids they were allegedly just keeping the dough for themselves, police said.

The couple got cash donations from at least three homes before suspicious neighbor John Bollmeier contacted the homeowner's association to see if the couple was indeed from the neighborhood. When they told him no, Bollmeier jumped in his car and followed the couple's minivan.

"What started to capture my attention was they seemed to be more interested in our interior of our house," said resident John Bollmeier.

They pulled out of the development, but Bollmeier was able to catch the license plate number.

He then called the JDRF to check if the fundraiser was real and when they told him no, he called police.

Authorities believe the duo stayed with a relative who lives in the community and took his minivan to scam the neighbors.

Bollmeier says he's "ashamed" he was scammed, but is glad he could help expose the couple's alleged wrongdoings.

Arrest warrants were issued for both John and Deborah as they face criminal impersonation, theft by false pretense and conspiracy charges.

Police have spoken with the couple, but say they have yet to turn themselves into authorities. They believe the Reillys have fled the area.

Anyone with info is asked to contact New Castle County Police at 302-395-8110, text at Tip411 and/or go to the county police Web site.
 

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