Helen Lomax knew the minute she opened the door, something was not right.
The Alvinston woman had an unexpected visitor at her rural home recently who matched the description of a man Elgin OPP were warning rural residents to be wary of. Now Lomax is sharing her story, hoping to make neighbours aware of the scam.
Lomax and her husband, John, live just outside of Alvinston with their house set back about 150 meters from their road. The couple was watching TV in their basement around 7pm recently when there was a knock on the door. They were expecting someone bringing news of an ill friend, so Lomax bounded up the stairs opened the front door and walked out onto the porch.
There was a man on the porch whom she’d never seen before. She knew immediately something was not quite right. “We have a U-shaped driveway and there was no car in the driveway,” Lomax says adding it seemed odd that someone would walk in the rain up from the road instead of bringing their car into the drive.
“I asked him ‘Where’s your car?’ he said, ‘Oh, it is just beyond those trees’…what individual would park their car at the road and walk all that way.”
The man, Lomax says, claimed to be trying to get to Chatham but when she started to give directions, he brought his cell phone to his ear without dialing a number.
“Then he said, ‘Oh my phone’s died…Can I come in and use your phone?’ I said, ‘No, that’s not going to happen.’”
The stranger also asked if she would get the phone and bring it on the porch, which she refused.
Her husband then stepped onto the porch, and the stranger became interested in the directions and left quickly. Lomax says her husband watched as the man went back to the car and began using the phone.
The Lomax’s wrote the incident off as “weird” but realized there could be more to it after speaking with friends.
Just days before the man appeared at their Alvinston door, a similar incident occurred in Port Stanley. The Elgin OPP were looking for a man in his 30s about 5’ 10” who approached someone in a similar way. When Lomax heard that, she called the local OPP to tell them about the incident.
Lomax wanted to share her story so other people in the area would be aware of the incident and be careful when strangers approaches their home.
“Keep your eyes open, don’t ever let anyone in your house, and if you do have a situation happen like that, don’t wait to call the police like we did,” she says. “We thought, ‘oh well no harm done but maybe there is more to this than we know.
“You don’t know what his intentions were…you don’t know if anything else would have come out of it.”