The stranger who appeared at Violet Zivkovich’s doorstep made her a fine offer, saying he’d trim the dead branches from her trees free of charge. But once inside the 88-year-old woman’s house, the man demanded money, then started shoving her around, reports the Detroit Free Press. Fortunately, a neighbor — who had seen the man’s truck outside — called police, who arrived as Zivkovich was yelling for help.
The man is behind bars, one of the success stories of a new unit in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, which authorities say is unique in Michigan. Focusing solely on crimes against seniors, the unit has a perfect conviction rate in 77 cases in its first seven months — including that of Internet lothario Robert Pugh, who sweet-talked widows and divorcees out of more than $200,000 before he was caught. While there is little data suggesting that crimes against seniors are on the rise nationally, law enforcement officials say more attention needs to be paid to make sure older, more-vulnerable citizens are protected.