“The elderly gentlemen let him into the house and down to his basement,” said Cinnaminson, New Jersey Township Police Chief Richard Calabrese.
Chief Calabrese said a man in civilian clothes, claiming to work for PSE&G, the local energy company, told the Cinnaminson owner he was there to inspect a gas leak.
Once inside, they said the suspect told the victim to wait downstairs while he went upstairs to check something.
“After the guy left, he went to check and noticed his drawers had been ransacked and some items were missing,” Chef Calabrese said.
Investigators said he stole jewelry and money, but more importantly, he took the sense of security from this community.
“We were petrified after it happened, being in the house. I mean we are old and look like a good target,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.
“It’s just kind of sad that people are taking advantage of things,” neighbor Walter Williams said.
According to PSE&G, it’s not uncommon for a utility worker to drop into a home unannounced to inspect a gas leak or read the meter.
“If they’re not wearing PSE&G clothing or driving a marked vehicle, those are big red flags to look out for. But the key is to ask for ID,” said Rebecca Mazzarella, gatekeeper. word of PSE&G.
Unfortunately, these imposter scams are on the rise. The ABC Philadelphia Branch WPVI The data journalism team discovered that more than 14,000 such scams were reported in the greater metro area in 2021.
This number has doubled from the 7,000 impostor scams reported in 2020.
Many of these scammers get away with it, but the police continue to search for this suspect.
“We are confident that we will solve this problem,” said Chief Calabrese.
Cinnaminson police said they scoured the neighborhood for surveillance footage and are following some leads.
Anyone with information is asked to call Cinnaminson Police.
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