Son claims doorbell technology stopped stranger from scamming mother

Published: Jun. 12, 2019 at 10:59 PM CDT
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It's something you should only hear from police: someone's outside your home wanting to conduct a welfare check.

One local man says those words came from a man wearing jeans and a t-shirt at his 86-year-old mother's doorstep in south Wichita. That man arrived in an unmarked van.

Eyewitness News spoke with the woman's son who intervened remotely when he saw the stranger at his mother's door. He called police who confirm they took the report, but as of Wednesday night, are in the beginning stages of looking into what happened.

Until police sort out exactly what happened and determine whether a crime was committed, we are blurring the man's face.

David Bennett is his mother's full-time caregiver. He says he keeps a close eye on her through a Nest doorbell. The technology with the doorbell allows Bennett to immediately be notified on his cell phone anytime there's motion on his mother's doorstep.

The high-tech doorbell came in handy Wednesday afternoon when the stranger driving the unmarked van made an unexpected visit.

"I started watching who he was and what he had to say," Bennett says.

The man claimed the woman's son asked him to do a welfare check. Bennett was not at the house at the time, but was able to hear the conversation through the connection between the doorbell's technology and his phone.

On his phone, he told his mother to close the door immediately.

"She tried to shut the door and just say she was busy and didn't have time for it right now," Bennett says. "And he said, 'well, this will just take a second.' "Well, I automatically start to talk to the guy, and say, 'I am her son, and I did no such thing.'"

Bennett says he instructed his mother to get the van's license plate and the man responded with a derogatory statement before leaving.

Bennett says his mother's closed door opened the conversation about safety.

"My mother is 86 and it doesn't register the right way," he says. "There's a lot of scammers these days. It's a different world out there and you have to be cautious."

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