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August 15, 2015

Police: Men posed as PWD employees, entered home in 26th district

Officers requesting security video of men, warn of fraudulent city workers

Police are warning residents to be on the lookout for people posing as city employees after five men did so Thursday, entering a home in the 26th District. 

According to police, the female complainant answered the door of her home on the 1000 block of N. 4th St. around 3 p.m. to a Hispanic male wearing a blue shirt and a lanyard with an ID card around his neck, claiming to work for the Philadelphia Water Department. 

The woman told police that the man claimed they were working on the street the next day, entering the woman's kitchen and saying he had to come in despite her saying there was nothing wrong with her water. 

According to the complaint, four other men accompanied him, with one standing outside as a lookout. At one point, the first man allegedly asked the woman to turn on the water in a bathroom on the first floor of the home and watch the water. 

When she did, the woman said she heard a man walking up the stairs. When she confronted the first man about it, he denied anyone going upstairs. At that point, she said another man came down the stairs and fled out the front door. 

The woman then threatened to call the police, at which point the first man took the phone and pretended to talk to someone, disconnecting the wire, according to the complaint. 

She was able to call police from another phone in the house, and all five men left, making a right on George Street. No items were reported missing from the home. 

According to police, the suspects are all described as Hispanic males with black hair, clean shaven, and were wearing dark blue shirts. The first man was between 38-42 years old, weighs 175 lbs., stands 6'0" tall, and was wearing dark gray pants. 

The other four men are described as followed: one male in his 50’s, standing 5’8" and weighing 175 lbs, two males in their 30's, both standing between 5’6-5’7 and weighing between 160-170 lbs., one male between the ages of 28-33, standing 5’3" tall and weighing between 145-150 lbs.

Police are asking any residents of the block who may have security footage of the suspects to contact police. Anyone with information or footage is asked to call Seargent John Massi of the 26th Police District at 215-686-3260/61.

Authorities are also warning people to challenge people claiming to be utility workers and not to let them into your home unless they actually are legitimate employees or if you have requested maintenance. The elderly are especially vulnerable to these scams, according to authorities.