Neighbors Launch Campaign to Help Scam Victims

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Ray and Ida Mae Smith have lived in the Hyatt Park neighborhood for nearly 40 years. The couple says they have always felt safe, but last month that security was taken from them.

"I said sure come on in," said Ray Smith.

According to Columbia Police, two men dressed as SCE&G workers entered the Smith's home on Johnson Avenue on April 16th. The men told the victims they needed to come inside the home and check the wall sockets.

"He didn't seem to be the type of person who would go through houses and take peoples belongings," said Ray.

Before they knew it, the men were gone and they has taken Ida Mae's purse and her jewelry box with their wedding rings inside.

Callison Richardson lives just across the street and says the neighborhood sprung into action to help. New wedding rings are in the works, but the generosity doesn't stop there.

"Right before they were robbed I was working with the City of Columbia to get them a new roof through a program called the G.A.P. program.

Richardson says the city won't fix the roof until the house is up to code.

"The bathroom floor is literally sinking through and it needs a lot of repair," said Richardson.

They are hoping to raise money or get services donated to help the Smith's get back on their feet.

To see how you can help Click Here or send an email to

The couple says they are just thankful they were not inured in the robbery.

The men did not have on SCE&G clothing, and did not show the proper identification. SCE&G says field employees always wear a blue SCE&G uniform, a white company ID badge with a photo, and a marked truck.

Investigators say the men possibly left in a white, short bed Dodge pickup truck.

Columbia police say if someone comes to your home and doesn't show proper ID, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

Anyone with information about the burglary should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or e-mail a tip in to You can also text information in by texting "TIPSC" plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Either way you choose, your identity will remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.


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