Fire extinguisher scam, Union Grove woman charged
CALEDONIA, Wis. - A Union Grove woman is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors for allegedly posing as a fire department employee and trying to sell phony fire extinguisher tags.
Earlene Moore, 52, is accused of pulling the stunt at two different Caledonia businesses. Victims previously described the scam to FOX6 News. Police said tips from viewers, along with technology, helped lead to her arrest.
"I haven’t seen a scam quite like this," said Caledonia Det. Christopher Schuster.
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The Caledonia businesses reported similar interactions with Moore, according to a criminal complaint – one on Jan. 31 and one on Feb. 2. In one case, an employee told police that Moore specifically tried to sell a tag for $40 and "began yelling" that the existing tag was "wrong."
"All for a fire extinguisher," said Ruben Medina, who works at High Street Food Market.
High Street Food Market told FOX6 News that it, too, was victimized.
"I gave her the $70, not thinking nothing of it, until she left, that she didn’t have a uniform on or didn’t come in a fire truck," Medina said.
Police reviewed surveillance video from the incidents and checked license plates to identify Moore. The complaint states she admitted to trying to sell the phony tags.
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"She never really said why, but she did say that she had done it," Schuster said. "After (FOX6's) story aired, more people in Caledonia came out and started reporting hey we were victims to this, too."
In all, Moore is charged with two felony counts of falsely acting as a public official and two misdemeanor counts of attempted theft. A signature bond was set at $1,000.
Previously, police said she was running the same scam in Kenosha County. She has not been charged in connection to those alleged crimes yet.