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Gun-toting Lowell woman refuses to pay in shoveling scam

A 79-year-old woman came to the door with a gun in her hand Tuesday after a scam artist demanded money from her and her husband for shoveling their driveway without their permission, Lowell police said.

A caller reported seeing the woman holding a gun at her side while standing in the doorway of her Bunker Hill Avenue home at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Captain Kelly Richardson of the Lowell police.

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A man, whose identity has not been released, had shoveled snow from the couple’s driveway without asking them if they wanted the service, said Richardson.

“He goes to the door the first time, and she tells him to leave,” Richardson said. “He bangs on the door very hard the second time, and she tells him to leave again. Then the third time her husband answers the door. She tells her husband to step aside and go back in the house and says, ‘I’m telling you to leave, or I’m going to call the police.’ ”

The woman, who was licensed to carry the weapon, held it at her side while addressing the man, police said.

“She didn’t point it; she just told him to go away,” said Richardson.

The man fled, but was found by police walking in the area. Neither the woman nor the shoveler are pressing charges.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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