Police search for scam artists and flood victims

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Grand Forks Police put out the first alert for scam artists on Tuesday, while authorities to the north began searching for a couple missing since they tried to detour around the flood.
Police Capt. Ron MacCarthy said on Tuesday that he had reports of phone calls from people identifying themselves as National Guard members or police, asking about home alarm systems or whether homes were locked.
“I can’t overemphasize that these are false calls,” MacCarthy said. “If anybody gets these calls, they need to call the Grand Forks Police Department. This is not the way we operate.”
To the north, police in Grafton were searching for a couple missing since April 20, when they took a detour in returning home from Stephen, Minn., because of flooded roads.
William Borgen, 77, and his wife Carol, 60, were last seen leaving the Minnesota town in their light blue 1986 Dodge Caravan, Grafton police said. They had planned to detour into northern North Dakota, around Pembina, because the more direct route across the Red River through Minnesota was flooded.
“You don’t know if they’re safe somewhere. They could be in somebody’s yard that lost their telephone service,” said Grafton Police Chief LeRoy McCann. “If you go east of Grafton, all you see is one big lake,” McCann said.
Residents of the Pembina County cities of Drayton and Pembina were anxiously awaiting word about when they could return home. But the message from Drayton Mayor Beverly Jensen was, “Don’t pack your bags yet.”
Jensen said a break in a water line into the city would need to be repaired first, and there was a delay in getting parts from Fargo. Repair could take another day or two, she said on Tuesday.
Owners of some Drayton businesses have been allowed into town, and homeowners were allowed in for 30-minute checks on their homes. Jensen said the city dikes have been holding off the Red River.
The community of Walhalla also had a water line break, and Pembina County spokesman Andrew Thostenson said it could take up to 48 hours to get it fixed. Bottled water was being brought in for residents.