Police: Thieves Pose As Utility Workers In South Philadelphia

Police: Thieves Pose As Utility Workers In South Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA -

Police are warning South Philadelphia residents about a pair of thieves posing as utility workers after an elderly woman fell victim to their scam Wednesday afternoon.

“Generally it’s a very friendly and safe neighborhood," Brae Howard said.

So finding a crime bulletin in her mailbox came as a surprise.

“Pretty scary," Howard said.

Police said a man dressed in a hard hat told a woman living on the 1900 block of S 10th Street that she had a gas main break.

While they were checking things out in the 81-year-old’s basement a second, uninvited man entered the home.

After the elderly victim heard footsteps from above, the worker tried to keep her downstairs.

She was able to get past and confronted the two men who said to each other in Spanish that she understood what was going on.

“I know the lady across the street that it happened to. She’s a good woman and I think guys like that, that’s who they prey on. They prey on the old people because they’re cowards," neighbor Anthony Damiani said.

The victim picked up the phone and told the thieves she was having a heart attack, even though she wasn't.

They took off running on Mifflin, getting away with only a radio.

“They’re scumbags, cowards, cheats, liars whatever else you want to call them. The scum of the Earth," Damiani said.

Neighbors believe recent construction on the street may have been a part of the impostors' ploy.

They hope police stop these two culprits, before they strike again.

“It will be a signal to anybody else who tried to pull that around here that the people around here are a little more smarter. Even those these guys are trying to prey on the old, the innocent and helpless, I think they’ll meet their match around here,” Damiani said.

Police recommend not to let any workers in your house unless you have an appointment.

They also said to make sure you see the workers badge, uniform and marked work vehicle parked in front of your home before you let them in.

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