Police reveal utility worker scam

After an elderly Byram couple became victims of a common utility worker scam taking place around the state, the Greenwich Police Department is warning residents to be cautious about whom they allow into their homes.

According to police, at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, a male suspect convinced the Byram couple that he was an employee of the water company and had come to their home to check the building’s water pressure. Upon entering the residence, the false employee was escorted to the basement by the husband while a second suspect then entered through the unlocked front door. The second subject then reportedly went through the bedrooms in the house, stealing cash and jewelry.

As the second suspect was exiting the bedroom, police said, the victim’s wife noticed the man and asked what he was doing there. Just as his partner had done, the man said he was with the water company and he was there to check the water pressure. The men left hurriedly and no one was hurt. No arrests have been made but the investigation is continuing.

During the incident, the two suspects briefly communicated in Spanish, although the victims said the men had no discernible accent while speaking English.

“In light of recent cases around the state where criminals posing as utility workers have gained entrance to people’s homes, we want to stress the importance of being careful and conscientious when allowing anyone into private residences,” Charles Firlotte, president and CEO of Aquarion, said in a press release after the incident was brought to the company’s attention. “Our company follows strict protocols when entering customers’ homes and businesses, which include showing the customer an Aquarion photo ID. We also encourage any customer who is unsure or has concerns to call our customer service department.”

Town police urged residents to keep in mind that all the utilities and communications companies have a similar ID requirement for their employees. All field employees are required to carry company-issued photo identification at all times and to present such identification upon request when entering a customer’s home. If a worker cannot produce identification, customers should not allow entrance into their home or business and should immediately call the Greenwich police at 203-622-8001.

Residents are asked to do their best to write down a description of the subject and the make, model and license plate of a vehicle if present.

The suspects in the Byram incident have the following physical descriptions: Subject one was male, 5’7”, stocky build, clean-shaven, and wearing a dark-colored winter coat with a hood and baseball type cap. Subject two was male, approximately 50 years old, wearing a dark shirt, jeans and a baseball cap, and may have been walking with a limp.

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