Suspects sought in connection to child-protective services impersonator

— The Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Vermont State Police (VSP) discussed growing concerns about a series of suspicious incidents that have transpired related to suspects impersonating DCF employees.

The most recent incident occurring on Dec. 3 in Sunderland.

On Oct. 29, the Vermont State Police received a report from the St. Johnsbury area in which a Caucasian female came to a residence at the Mountain View Apartments saying she was a DCF worker and was investigating a report of child abuse. The female suspect was granted access to the home; she inspected the child and left the premises without further incident. The female suspect was seen operating silver sedan, unknown make, model, or registration.

On Dec. 1, the Lyndonville Police Department received a report in Lyndonville on Valley Lane that three woman (one African American and two Caucasian) came to the home claiming to be from "Human Services" (or "Home Health") and said they were "following up on a report that was made up the road". The male resident said the suspects inquired after the female resident, who was not home. When the female resident was not home, they left the premises without further incident. The suspects failed to show any identification and never exited their vehicle, which was described as a dark blue Ford Escape with New York plates.

Most recently, on Dec. 3, the Vermont State Police received a report in Sunderland that three people (one female and two males) showed up at a residence on Phyller Dee Lane. The suspects advised the grandmother that the child's parents were under investigation by "child protection services". The suspects asked to search the residence and actually picked up the child for inspection. When the grandmother resisted their advances, the suspects insinuated that they may be back to take the child into custody and the child could go into foster care. The suspects then became nervous and left in two vehicles, one grey sedan and one maroon sedan, bearing unknown plates.

In all of these instances, there is no known active investigation by DCF involving the targeted families.

These incidents are under investigation by detectives with the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

If anyone has information related to these incidents or suspects, please call the Vermont State Police at the St. Johnsbury Barracks (802-748-3111) or the Shaftsbury Barracks (802-442-5421).

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