Elderly woman fights back against scammers
BATON ROUGE- An elderly woman recalled frantic moments after two men gained access to her home in Baton Rouge last week.
The men claimed to be from a bathroom remodeling company when they entered Margie Buzzinotti's home. The incident happened last Wednesday in the River Oaks Subdivision off of Florida Boulevard near O'Neal Lane.
"When you think about it after it happened, they could have killed me," Buzzinotti said.
It all began when two men knocked on Buzzinotti's door. She had a "Rebath" sign in her front yard, after a recent bathroom renovation.
"Before I could get the screen door locked, that man was up here, and he said I come to check your water," Buzzinotti said.
"He pushed his way in and said turn on your water," Buzzinotti said. "So I did. I turned around and there was another man standing in here."
She got suspicious when the men said they were going to put antifreeze in her pipes.
"I thought he's crazy," Buzzinotti said. "Antifreeze kills people."
That's when Buzzinotti got on her phone and called Rebath. An employee at Rebath told her the company had not sent anyone to her home. That's when the two men bolted.
The city's plumbing code requires businesses to post signs if a remodel is taking place for inspectors. Business owners suggest taking down the signs after the inspections to prevent people from becoming a target for thieves.
"Any viable company that is legitimate will operate with prior announcements, or by appointment," Rebath Owner Ron Leclerc said. "Workers won't just knock on your door and say let me in your house."
Leclerc says all of his employees also carry badges to identify themselves. As the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office investigates, Buzzinotti said deputies took swabs of her door and faucet looking for contact DNA.
"I've also been swabbed," Buzzinotti said with laughter. "So, I can't do anything wrong."
All jokes aside, she said she's ready if the pair decides to come back.
"I've got a gun, I'm retired from the Department of Public Safety," she said.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said the men left without taking anything. Call authorities if you can help.