Man posing as animal control officer tries to enter Columbia home

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia Police Thursday warned of a suspicious person posing as an animal control officer walking around a south Columbia neighborhood.

On the afternoon of July 15, officers received a report of a suspicious person in the 100 block of west Green Meadows Road.

The man claimed to be an animal control officer investigating an animal bite. The man also allegedly asked to step inside the person's home and asked for a drink of water. The resident did not allow the man inside.

George Robinson, a neighbor of the victim, said he complimented her before asking.

"He told her her house was so nice, then asked to come inside for water," Robinson said. "But of course, she said no and got suspicious."

Robinson told ABC 17 News the lady called Animal Control to find out if anyone had been dispatched to her house.  They told her no, and that if someone had, they would be in uniform, with identification, and a marked car.

The suspect was described as a black man between 30 and 35 years old, about 6 feet tall, 150 pounds, and wearing a business suit.

He was said to be driving a gold 4-door car, possibly a late 1990's Buick or Oldsmobile. 

The man didn't show any documentation that he was an animal control officer or City of Columbia employee, and his car did not have any official markings.

Nearby residents said he didn't knock on any other doors besides the victims, leading them to believe she was targeted.

Police said to call the non-emergency joint communications line to report any suspicious activity at 573-442-6131.  That number will also be able to let a person know if there is a police officer or city worker at their door.

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