Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ruse Burglary - "Water & Power"

An elderly victim fell prey to a distraction, or ruse burglary on Tuesday afternoon, July 20th. The crime occurred at about 2:00 pm in the 300 block of Fairview Avenue. The resident was preparing to leave his home when he was approached by a male suspect who said that he was from the "Department of Water & Power" and that the water lines were contaminated. The suspect told the victim that he needed to check his water and asked to enter the victim's home. The victim then escorted the suspect into the house. During that time, the suspect was on and off a cellular phone and turned on the water in various rooms in the home. The suspect walked the resident into the back yard for several minutes and at one point, the resident saw another male walking in the resident's yard, in front of the home. The suspect then left the location saying that the resident would receive paperwork in the mail. The crime was discovered later in the day by another family member.

The suspect was described as a male, unknown race in his 40's, leathery tan skin, approximately 5' tall, weighing about 150 lbs, wearing a long sleeve blue shirt and grey slacks. The suspect had an identification card of some sort clipped to his shirt and possibly spoke with a "New York" accent. The second suspect was only described as a male. Loss in the crime consisted primarily of jewelry.

APD experienced a couple of similar burglaries earlier this year. See a previous post on the topic HERE. There is a composite drawing associated with a suspect from a previously reported burglary in that post. Suspect descriptions are similar, however, we do not have a sketch from the latest victim at this time.

Anytime someone approaches you or comes to your residence, obtain identification and confirm their identity. There are legitimate times when a City employee, gas, electric, telephone, or other service worker may require entrance to your exterior property. These persons should be in some form of uniform, have identification, and most likely a marked vehicle. Unless you placed the service call, do not allow anyone access to your home. If the person is suspicious or uncooperative, immediately call the police. Anyone with information should call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160.

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