@ClePolice Investigating Reports of Suspects Impersonating Utility Workers to Scam/Steal from Elderly Victims

The Cleveland Division of Police is investigating two incidents involving suspects posing as utility workers to scam elderly victims.  Below are details of the incidents and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

January 9, 2016 5:30pm

Victim  88 year old white female

Suspects: white males, mid 30s

Officers responded to W. 153rd street for a possible burglary in progress.  Officers were informed via radio that the victim’s daughter was on the phone with her mother and that she believed she was in danger.  The victim responded to a knock at her side door and upon looking outside, could see no one.  She opened the door and a white male wearing a rusty colored jacket and gloves pushed passed  her and into her home.  He had an ID hanging from his neck.  He stated he worked for CEI and that he was there because a car had hit a utility pole nearby.  He reported he was there to check her water.

The victim asked the suspect to stop and for identification; the suspect stated he was “Mike” and briefly showed her a red and white ID that said “Michael” on it.  he then asked here to go into the bathroom and turn on the hot water.  When she did, a second male entered the home and headed toward the bedrooms.  The second suspect exited a bedroom and walked back out of the door, the first suspect then left as well.  Victim reported nothing was stolen.  Neighbors reported seeing a silver pickup, possibly a Ford in the driveway during this time.

 

January 8, 2015 1230pm

Victim: 84 year old white male

Suspect: unknown

 

Victim reported that a representative from the “Water Company” was at his Dale Avenue home on January 8 at approximately noon to check the water in his home.  He noticed $50.00 in cash and a Ruger 357 to be missing after this person left.  A description of the individual is not in the police report.

First district detectives continue to investigate both incidents.  In each incident it appears that the victims may have been targeted as they are both elderly and were alone at the time of the burglaries.

Please take the time to review the following safety information to avoid being the victim of such scams:

Cleveland Public Utilities reminds customers to look out for impostors in their neighborhoods

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU), comprised of Cleveland Water, Cleveland Public Power and Cleveland Water Pollution Control, wants to make sure customers are aware of what to look for in the event of someone showing up on their property claiming that they are a DPU employee.

Your safety is important to us. Please review the tips below in order to recognize DPU employees coming to your home:

Cleveland Water Employees:

  • All water employees are required to wear clothing that has a water emblem or logo embroidered on the left front of either their jacket or shirt.
  • Vehicles are white or blue and are marked with the water logo on the door or side of the trucks.
  • All employees are issued Cleveland Water identification cards and they must be worn and visible at all times while they are on duty.
  • If there is work being done near your home, an employee may knock on your door to notify you of the work and any disruptions to service, otherwise employees will only come to your home if prior arrangements have been made (investigations, meter installations, etc.).

 

Clear Reads Installer:

  • All Clear Reads installers will arrive for their scheduled appointment in a vehicle displaying the Clear Reads and Cleveland Water logos.
  • All installers will have two forms of identification: a Clear Reads badge and a contractor company badge. Both badges will include a photo.

Cleveland Public Power (CPP):

  • CPP employees do not need to enter a customer’s home.
  • Employees drive white vehicles with the CPP logo on the door.
  • They wear shirts with either the CPP logo or the words “Cleveland Public Power” on the left side of the chest.

Cleveland Water Pollution Control (WPC):

  • WPC House Connection Inspectors (HCI) are the only employees who enter customers’ homes.
  • Employees drive white SUVs with the WPC logo on the front doors.
  • Employees shirts and hats will have the WPC logo on them.
  • HCI’s are required to show their City identification, which has the WPC logo on it, prior to entering a customer’s home.

If in doubt – dial 911 immediately:

  • Do not let them in – close and lock the door.
  • Call 911 immediately to notify your local police.