OKEECHOBEE — On Friday, Jan. 5, three members of the Okeechobee community were approached by a suspicious vehicle driven by a man, who claimed to be an employee of ADT but could not provide identification when asked, wanted to inspect the doors and windows of their homes.
According to an incident report by Deputy Mark Margerum, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), at approximately 2:51 p.m. he responded to the 4200 block of Southeast 49th Court in regards to the first of three suspicious vehicle complaints, in which a man in a 2013 white Nissan Murano – registered to a man out of Jensen Beach – allegedly attempted to sell ADT home security equipment and services. The vehicle was reported by dispatch to Deputy Margerum as possibly being occupied by three white males.
The first person stated that the white Murano pulled in behind their vehicle as they were about to leave their residence. The passenger of the Murano, a white male with a bald head, exited the vehicle wearing a polo style shirt with an unknown logo on it, stated that he worked for ADT Home Security and asked to inspect the doors and windows. The Murano was reported to have had no markings and tinted windows.
The first complainant then asked the man to provide identification to which he said he did not have at the time. The man was then told, since he could not provide any type of identification and that the vehicle had no markings or logos to indicate the represented company, that he probably did not work for ADT and to leave.
The complainant then followed the Nissan to another residence, wrote down the tag number and then called OCSO. When OCSO was called, the complainant advised that the Murano left at a high rate of speed towards U.S. 441 Southeast where it was last seen.
While searching the area for the Murano, Deputy Margerum reportedly came to the 4000 block of Southeast 50th Avenue and met with another complainant. They informed Deputy Margerum that approximately 30 minutes prior, a white Nissan Murano stopped in the driveway. Again, a white male with a bald head claimed to work for ADT Home Security exited the vehicle and asked to inspect the windows and doors of the home. The man was again asked for identification which reportedly could not be provided. The bald man did however produce a business card with an ADT logo on it, stating Advanced Home Security and the name of Robert Fortini, a license number, an office and cellular telephone number and email. The card did list a city of Jensen Beach but no physical address.
The report continued that dispatch requested Deputy Margerum respond to the 5000 block of Southeast 42nd Street in regards to the same Murano. The third complainant informed that – in the same time of events as the previous two incidents – a white Murano with a white male stopped at the residence, claimed to work for ADT and asked to inspect the windows and doors. This time, he was permitted to do so. The bald white man again could not provide identification but gave the complainant a business card. This one reportedly differed from the one handed to the second complainant in that it had an ADT logo and read “ADT Security Services ‘Always There’,” the name on the card was Patrick Paradise, and the address on the card was the same as the registered owner of the Murano from Jensen Beach. The card also had two different phone numbers, noted the report, but this one also had the same license number and a dealer number.
The third complainant reportedly called the numbers on the card, with both being invalid numbers. Before calling law enforcement, the complainant called ADT Customer Service and was informed the person who claimed to represent ADT was fraudulent, ADT does not solicit by door to door sales and the business license on the card was not valid.
The report concluded that all three complainants identified a driver who did not exit the vehicle and were provided an agency card by Deputy Margerum with his name, OCSO phone number and case number. All of them were also informed by Deputy Margerum that if the vehicle or occupants return to the neighborhood to contact law enforcement. The information from both business cards was also collected.