Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Solano Canyon family loses $12,000 to criminals posing as DWP workers

A man posing as a Department of Water & Power worker distracted an elderly man and his son in their Solano Canyon home while an accomplice ransacked two bedrooms, making off with more than $12,000 in cash, jewelry and other items, said LAPD Senior Lead officer Ken Lew. The incident took place last Wednesday in the 500 block of Solano Canyon Avenue east of the 110 Freeway. A similar crime took place last month in Angelino Heights, when an elderly couple also fell victim to men posing as utility workers.

In the Solano Canyon case, the elderly homeowner allowed a male Latino who said he was with the DWP inside the house to inspect the plumbing. The suspect, homeowner and the homeowner's son spent several minutes in the kitchen checking pipes. At one point, the DWP imposter spoke into a walkie-talking with another person, possibly the accomplice, Lew said. When the man left, the family discovered that two bedrooms had been ransacked while they were in the kitchen. During the investigation, a neighbor said a male Latino had also asked to enter the home but was turned away.

"This is only an isolated incident - nothing has happened since," Lew said. "My fear is that they will strike again."

He advised residents to ask for identification of anyone claiming they work for the DWP or any other public agency. Residents who want to check the credentials of DWP workers can call the department's security office at (213) 367-3373 or (213) 367-9111.

1 comment:

  1. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Detective DivisionOctober 28, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    Thank you for posting this information. Again, folks, let's look out for our elderly neighbors, and all our neighbors for that matter, but especially them. When I was a Watch Commander in Mission Division in the valley in 2007, similar predators were victimizing the elderly, while posing as DWP employees.

    As I wrote in an earlier post, DWP employees carry photo ID, and will almost always have a marked service vehicle nearby. If one is suspicious of the validity of a person claiming to work for DWP, phone the numbers listed.