North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services
Distraction Thieves Posing as City Utility Workers
******Alert #199 ******
Raleigh police reported late last week that two homes owned by older citizens were struck by distraction thieves posing as public utility workers. The police department describes the incidents as follows:
June 19, 2008
Raleigh Police Department officers have taken two recent larceny reports involving suspects posing as employees of the city’s Public Utilities Department. The two incidents occurred in Southwest Raleigh and involved senior citizens.
In both cases, the victims reported that a suspect came to their front doors and said he was doing work related to water lines. The suspect asked victims to accompany him to the back yard of the residence to review property line issues, and the victims did so. In one instance the suspect later went into the victim’s home after asking the victim to check his water for a brownish tint.
Both victims later discovered items were missing from the homes. The fact that the suspect who encountered by the victim did not enter the home during one of the instances points to an unseen accomplice being present.
Both victims reported that the suspect they encountered was not wearing a uniform and did not provide identification.
In one report, the observed suspect was described as a white male who stood about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds. He was said to have red hair and an unshaven appearance. He wore a red and white plaid shirt, blue pants and an orange jacket.
In the other report, the observed suspect was described as a white male in his forties who stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds. He was said to have brown hair and was wearing khaki shorts.
In both instances, the victims reported that the suspect they saw was associated with a pickup truck. In one case, the side of the vehicle was described as being dark green with a light-colored strip on the side; the front of the truck was described as being a tan color. In the other case the truck was described as being brown with a yellow light on top.
Dale Crisp, director of the city’s Public Utilities Department, advises that his employees who might make contact with the public under similar circumstances wear City of Raleigh uniforms and carry photo identification. In addition, when planned work, such as a new water line, is being conducted, letters are sent in advance to property owners advising them that personnel will be in the area. Letters cannot be sent in advance when emergency repairs are required.
Residents are asked to call police immediately if they are approached under similar circumstances or at any time when suspicious people, activities or vehicles are seen.
Anyone with information that might assist the investigation of the two larceny cases is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department’s Detective Division at (919) 890-3555 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 226-CRIME.
For More Information Contact:
******End of Alert******
Date: June 23, 2008
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