In what has to be the most poorly thought out email we have ever received, Whitemarsh Township sent out an email alert to warn its residents of an “influx of transient or ‘Gypsy’ activity.” Here is the text:
Pennsylvania and the surrounding area have recently had an influx of transient or “Gypsy” activity. Transients are roaming thieves who prey on the uninformed and unsuspecting residents, particularly (but not always exclusively) the elderly. While their crimes vary, often times they portray themselves as driveway sealant orasphalt contractors or home roof repairmen or handymen. They approach residents trying to make a deal for the work using numerous different ploys.
Do not fall for the sales pitch, if it sounds too good to be true it normally is. Best advice is if you did not call a contractor to do work, do not engage the individual. If you think you have been scammed by a transient criminal or you believe that one of them has tried to scam you, contact the police immediately with any information regarding the Person(s), type of activity and a description of the vehicle(s) involved.
The problem with this email is that it capitalizes the word “Gypsy,” which in this form refers to the ethnic group (according to Merriam -Webster). There is actually no mention of criminal activity on the online dictionary and the group is more properly defined by its itinerant nature vs. criminal activity.
This alert also refers to transients as “roaming criminals”. Just because someone choose to move around makes them a criminal?