By Ted Scouten

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – An 87-year-old Tamarac woman tried to fight back when she realized she was the target of two distraction thieves.

It happened on April 30th just after 11:30 a.m.

When Ronnie Casper noticed a stranger in the back yard of her home in the 7100 block of Canella Court she went outside to see what was going on.

The woman in the yard explained that she worked for the city of Tamarac and was measuring the embankment by the lake so the city could install a wall. As the two women were talking, a man who claimed he was a city worker came into the yard and said he was spraying trees.

Casper’s neighbor, Roy Wiemann, said he spotted him as he walked in the parking lot.

“I saw someone just come out of the car, he looked disheveled,” he said. “He had a clipboard and just kind of flapped it against his leg and then he walked in the directions of Ronnie’s home.”

Casper said while she spoke to the woman outside, the man must have gone inside, into her bedroom.

“They looked in all the drawers. He had a good time,” said Casper.

Moments later he was in the back yard with a spray bottle squirting a tree. After Casper touched it the man he said it was poison and she had to immediately wash her hands. He raced her into the kitchen and told her to take off her rings. She was hesitant to do so because she was worried about removing her wedding ring. That’s when, Casper said, he forcefully took her three carat diamond right off her hand.

“I said “Well I can’t get this off because it’s tight’ and he’s standing right here. He took my hands, he took it and pulled it, I screamed, I screamed ‘awwww’ and he said that’s all right, we got it.

While the conman worked on getting Casper ring, his partner rummaged through the rest of the house.

Both the man and the woman then left.

That’s when Casper realized her rings, a pair of gold earrings and a pair of diamond earrings were gone.

“I’m 87 years old, 87 years old and I go to exercise, jazzersize and I’m in good shape. I mean if I would have got at that guy, I would have punched him because I’m strong enough to give somebody a punch,” she said with a laugh.

“I’m not a crier and I never cried but now that I talk about it, I could start crying because he invaded my home,” she added.

The male is described as approximately 50 years old, about 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds, with gray hair and a scruffy gray beard. The Broward Sheriff’s Office has released a sketch of what he looks like.

The female is also about 50 years old, described her as having brown curly hair, being about 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds.

As for Casper, she said the robbery left her shaken.

“I’m very fortunate. But now he’s got the fear in me now and that’s bad,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

Ted Scouten