El Cerrito police today, Tuesday, issued a new alert about two men who claim to be utility workers and gain entry to homes in order to steal from residents.
Police they're received two reports of two men posing as utility company workers to gain entry to a home by saying there's a water problem and that they must check the homeowner's pipes.
At first, one suspect contacts the resident, and then a few minutes later, another "worker" shows up saying he's part of the crew dealing with the water problem, police said. While one man distracts the resident, the other steals items from inside the home, according to police.
Similar incidents have been reported by other Bay Area law enforcement agencies, police said.
The two suspects were described as "Middle Eastern or Hispanic males, approximately 20 years old, 5’10” – 6’00” wearing green utility vests. In another instance, the males were reported as being approximately 30 years old," the police alert said. "They had walkie-talkies in one case."
"The suspects tend to target elderly victims," police said.
Anyone with any information about these incidents is asked to contact Detective Donovan Brosas at (510) 215-4422.
And anyone who may been a victim of a similar incident that wasn't reported is asked to contact El Cerrito police at (510) 237-3233.
On Oct. 9 in El Cerrito, two men posing as sewer workers gained entry to an elderly residents' home, police reported earlier. And on Sept. 27, two men posing as water company workers stole items from an elderly resident's home after being allowed inside, according to an El Cerrito police blotter.
El Cerrito police recommended the following safety tips:
Do not open your door to strangers, even if they claim to be utility workers. If you are suspicious of someone who claims to be a utility worker, please contact the El Cerrito Police Department at (510) 237-3233.
Always ask to see identification before admitting a scheduled worker into your house. All utilities issue identification cards to their employees.
If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a person claiming to be a utility worker, you can also contact the utility’s customer service department.
• East Bay Municipal Utility District: 1-866-40-EBMUD.
• Pacific Gas and Electric: 800-PGE-5000.
• Stege Sanitary District: (510) 524-4668
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