Posted by Allentown Area News.
A man posing as a utility worker distracted an 88-year-old Upper Macungie Township woman while an accomplice stole cash, police said.
A second elderly Lehigh County resident was the victim of a burglary following a visit by a man posing as a utility worker.
A 92-year-old South Whitehall Township woman reported a man who claimed he was from the water department came to her home on Walbert Avenue about noon Wednesday, township police said.
The man told the woman her neighbor’s water bill was too high and he was checking on the problem and then led her to the kitchen where he ran the water for 10 to 15 minutes, police said.
The man said there was air in the pipes causing problems and the department would come back to fix it, police said. After the man left the woman discovered a large amount of cash and jewelry was stolen, police said.
Police said the suspect is a white man, in his early 20s, 5-foot-6, with medium-length dark brown hair and glasses. He was driving a white panel van, police said.
The description of the man and the setup matches that of a similar burglary reported Wednesday afternoon in Upper Macungie Township.
Township police said an 88-year-old woman reported that a white box truck pulled into her driveway about 4 p.m. and a man posing as a utility worker advised her that he needed to check her water pressure and inspect the back of the house, according to a new release from police.
The man and the homeowner ran the water for a few minutes and after he left the woman discovered cash missing from her home, according to police.
Police describe the man posing as a utility worker as white, in his mid-20s, with brown hair and cleanly shaven. He stood about 5-foot-6 and is described as “chubby,” wearing a white and red sweatshirt, gray pants and white gloves.
Law enforcement departments offer these tips to residents unsure about a utility worker coming to their door:
• Stop and think: Are you expecting anyone to come to your home?
• Remember that most utility companies won’t send a worker to a home unannounced — they usually make an appointment.
• Before opening the door, use the peephole or intercom to identify visitors.
• If the door has a chain, put it on before answering the door. It will create a barrier between you and the other person.
• Always ask to see the worker’s employee identification.
• Look for a company logo on the person’s uniform and vehicle.
• Call the utility company to verify the person’s identification and make the person wait outside behind a locked door. The utility company will be able to tell whether the person is an employee and whether they’ve dispatched a service call to the home or neighborhood.
• If the person is an imposter, contact law enforcement immediately.
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