Suffolk police have warned this week about fraud in which people masquerade as utility workers to break into their homes, following two similar robbers that may be connected.
Police said in a statement on Friday that the first incident occurred on Monday at Smith Road’s house on Lake Ronkonkoma. Police said the day a man disguised as a Suffolk County Water Department employee asked residents to check the water meters in the basement for future work.
The 81-year-old resident told police that someone else was at home. “The homeowner found another man in the hallway and told them to leave. Nothing seems to have been stolen,” the police officer said in a statement.
Police said a man in a hat and vest, pretending to be a construction worker, was allowed to enter Suffolk Drive’s house on Sound Beach around 10:30 am on Thursday. Police claimed that the man was a utility employee who needed access to the backyard to install underground Wi-Fi. He was talking to someone on the phone while a fake utility was taken through his house to the yard, police said.
When the suspect left the house, the victim discovered that cash had been stolen from the house. “The detective believes the second entered the house while they were outside,” police said.
Police are investigating whether the two cases are related and warn the public to take precautions to protect themselves.
• Do not allow uninvited utility workers to enter your home.
• If someone comes to your home for inspection or checking, call the company for identification before entering the home.
• Keep the door locked.
• If anyone attempts to break in or attempt a fraudulent robbery, call 911 immediately.
• If someone is trying to provide the service, pay attention to its description and vehicle.
• Neighbors need to pay attention to older neighbors who are also targeted by similar scams.
Police urge anyone who believes to have been victims of this scam to call 911.
They ask anyone who knows information about the robbery to call the 6th Squad of 631-854-8652 or the 7th Squad of 631-852-8752.