Woman thwarts water department imposter

NEWARK, Del. - September 17, 2013

The woman, who didn't want us to show her face or use her name, said she was suspicious from the start on Sunday.

"There was nothing quite right about anything," she said.

She said a young man in an orange safety vest knocked on the door of her Orchard Road home.

He said he was from the Water Department and had to get into her house to see if her water was muddy due to a broken main.

"And I said I want to see your badge," she said.

When the man wouldn't produce ID, she stepped outside, locked the door behind her, and offered to walk him to the outside spigot.

When she continued to refuse him entry, he left in a white truck. The woman then called police.

As it turns out, a similar incident had occurred the day before in the 300 block of Phillips Avenue. In that incident, a man in a safety vest also said he had to check the water. That man then pushed his way into an elderly woman's home.

"She asked him to provide identification, he wasn't able to provide any. She asked him to leave, he didn't immediately comply and she ended up pushing him out of the door," said Lt. Mark Farrall of the Newark Police Dept.

Lieutenant Farrell says it's likely the man was trying to get into the homes to steal valuables.

While the two incidents in Newark occurred on the same weekend, and just streets apart, they are not isolated. In fact, police in New Castle County issued a warning about a similar scam being run up there.

Tim Filaski of the Newark Public Works Department says it's rare for Water Department workers to visit homes, unless they've been called by the homeowner. He also said real Water Department employees are easy to spot.

"You'll see the logo on the side of the truck and they'll also have identification badges with them," he said.

Anyone else who's been a victim of this scam is asked to call police.

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