By Joan Murray

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – It started with a knock on a side window.

The 83-year-old Hollywood woman went to her back door where a stranger inquired, “Do you remember me?”

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The man was dressed in a gray shirt and khaki pants. It was late Sunday afternoon, and the woman was cooking. The man told her, “I work for the city. There was a lot of rain and sand got into the water. We have to open the water and let it run, I have to come inside.”

Believing his story, the woman let him in her home.  While inside, pretending to check the lines, the man slipped into a bedroom and pocketed jewelry.

The woman says at one point he told her, “The city has to pay for the water.  I have $100.  Do you have any change?”

She told him she had no money and he left.  Afterwards she realized what had happened and called police.

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On Monday, Hollywood police began warning the public to be aware of the distraction crime that happened near 12th and Van Buren Streets.

“The way he is targeting the elderly they may not know they have been victimized,” said Hollywood police spokesman Christian Lata.

To avoid being the victim of a distraction crime, police say you should always ask workmen to present identification and ask to talk with their supervisor.  Call the city to verify work, and if you are uneasy, refuse entry. If you believe something is wrong, call police.

The victim wasn’t hurt but she doesn’t want anyone else to suffer her fate.

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“It was a bad moment.  Sometimes we all make mistakes,” she said.