SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities warned the public Tuesday to beware of a recurring burglary scam in which a thief poses as a utility worker in order to get into and loot unsuspecting residents' homes.
Two households, one in Clairemont and the other in Mira Mesa, fell victim to the ruse last week, according to San Diego police.
In both cases, a well-groomed man in dark-colored pants and a button-down white shirt went to the home of a retirement-age couple, claimed to be a city water-department employee and said he needed to check their plumbing for a leak or similar problem, SDPD Lt. Jim Filley said.
After leading the residents into their back yard and pretending to inspect faucets, the bandit thanked them and left.
The victims then discovered that cash, jewelry and/or identification documents had been stolen from their houses, apparently by an unseen accomplice who sneaked inside while the phony city employee distracted them, according to Filley.
Investigators believe the crimes may be related to several similar cases that occurred in February, the lieutenant said.
"Citizens are cautioned to be wary of such scams," Filley said. "Residents are advised if any unsolicited utility workers request access to their ... property, to call that utility company and confirm the work prior to allowing access."
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