Utility imposters prey on Sandy victims

EVESHAM TWP., N.J. - November 7, 2012

The elderly victim doesn't want to be identified. She was home alone Tuesday afternoon when a man knocked on her door.

"He introduced himself as an employee of a utility company and said he was there to check on her water that was contaminated," explained Sgt. Joseph Friel from the Evesham Township Police.

The victim says she looked out the window and saw a white pickup truck in her driveway. She says the man looked official.

"He had the hard hat and he had like a vest," she said.

The victim thought it was plausible because the sewer company is doing work up and down the block, and the guys doing the work drive white trucks.

"He was very friendly, shook my hand and was talking to me," she said.

The man had her go to the bathroom to run the water.

"He ran the water in the tub and the sink, and he said, 'sit down here, and we'll watch the water,'" she said.

The water never changed color and the victim got suspicious when the man closed the door and stayed with her in the bathroom.

She tried to get out, but he blocked her way.

When he finally left, she discovered she'd been robbed.

"I saw him leave, and I went back in the bedroom and all the drawers were all messed up, and they had stole money and jewelry," she said.

Her bedroom had been ransacked. The victim now believes an accomplice stole her cash and jewelry while the phony utility worker kept her occupied watching the water in the bathroom.

The police are warning other residents to be on the lookout and to demand proper ID before letting any utility worker into your house.

"Anything suspicious, give the police a call," said Sgt. Friel.

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