It’s an old scam, but it’s one police said is still being used to
victimize Burbank residents.
Two men claiming to be city utility workers robbed an 80-year-old
Burbank man last week. The men, whom police said showed only a
fraudulent business card, gained entry by telling the man they needed
to check a water pipe in his yard. While one of the men distracted
the victim, police said the other stole cash from the victim’s
wallet, which was on the patio.
Similar incidents have occurred during the past few months, and
police said it is a fairly common burglary technique, often used to
target the elderly. Unlike other types of break-ins, police said this
scheme is preventable if residents always ask to see proper
identification before allowing someone claiming to be a utility
worker into their homes.
“Don’t be afraid to turn someone away if they don’t have proper
identification,” police spokesman Sgt. Bruce Speirs said.
Burbank Water and Power employees always will be in uniform,
driving city vehicles and wearing city identification on the front of
their clothing, BWP Director Ron Davis said. It is also rare for
workers to need to come into a customer’s home; he said those
appointments are scheduled in advance.
If a resident is still uncertain whether someone at their door is
legitimate, Davis encouraged him or her to call the utility at
238-3700. If someone suspicious is trying to gain access to a
resident’s home, police said the resident should call 911.
“Call us. We would love to come out and talk to these people,”