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Men posing as LDS missionaries rob Las Vegas resident

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24 2013 12:45 p.m. MDT

Las Vegas police are looking for two men who allegedly robbed a man while posing as Mormon missionaries.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Robbery Section

LAS VEGAS — Police here are looking for two men who allegedly robbed a man while posing as Mormon missionaries.

On June 27 at approximately 6:20 a.m., two men wearing white shirts, ties, dark pants and backpacks were "soliciting door-to-door" when they came to a man's residence near the corner of Flamingo and Buffalo streets, Las Vegas Metro Police officer Larry Hadfield said. The duo said they wanted "to speak to him about religion," he said.

Hadfield said he didn't know what exact words were exchanged or if the fake missionaries used the words "LDS" or "Mormon," but investigators believe, based on the victim's statement, that was who they were trying to impersonate.

"That was how the victim described them as how they represented themselves," he said.

After talking to the phony missionaries for five minutes, the victim was "jumped and punched," held at gunpoint and robbed, police stated.

The homeowner had a home surveillance system on the outside of his house and was able to give pictures of the alleged attackers to authorities.

Police were looking for a white man in his early to mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 145 pounds, and a black man about the same age, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-1, and 210 pounds.

As of Tuesday, Hadfield said there had been no other reported incidents of men posing as missionaries to rob residents.

"This is very limited to one incidence at this time," he said.

Detectives believe the victim was selected at random. Hadfield urged residents to use caution around any stranger who comes to their doors, whether they claim to be missionaries, salespeople or collecting for charities.

"If anyone were to have someone come early or late soliciting anything, (I would encourage you) to be very cautious," Hadfield said. "It would not be out of bounds or intrusive to ask for an employee ID or any religious ID those persons would have."

Hadfield encouraged residents not to let anyone into their homes they didn't feel comfortable with. A red flag in this case should have been the time of day the fake missionaries showed up at the door, he said.

As for stooping to impersonate missionaries to rob someone, Hadfield said, "I'm not surprised by much anymore."

Kristen Howey, an spokeswoman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada, released a brief statement Tuesday.

"We are saddened by this senseless crime. Thankfully, impersonating missionaries is very rare," she said.

Anyone with information on the men can call police at 702-828-3591.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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