Allentown
36° F
Overcast
Overcast

Police: Berks County thieves posed as water utility employees

Published On: Jan 26 2014 07:53:51 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 27 2014 04:59:53 AM CST

Thieves pose as utility workers

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. -

Police in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County are looking for two thieves who posed as water workers on Saturday.

John Love said his mother-in-law is the victim of the cruel and well-thought-out crime.

"They came to the door, told my mother-in-law that they were from the water authority and that they needed to check the pipes," Love said.

Police said a man used the art of distraction to rob her home in the 1600 block of Frush Valley Road.

According to police, a man posed as a water worker wearing blue clothing and an "Inspector" I.D. badge. Police said he convinced her he was there to check on a possible gas leak affecting water lines.

Police said he led her to the basement, where he pretended to check the water meter. In the meantime, a second man entered the home and ransacked a closet.

"One of the individuals went to the stairwell and yelled down to the other that everything was okay upstairs. At that point they both made a quick exit," Love said.

By the time she realized something wasn't right and headed upstairs--it was already too late. Both men made a run for it and took off in a black SUV with a small lump of cash in hand.

Love and other family members fear it could happen again.

"It's a major concern. We don't know if this was the first time around, they might be looking to come back," Love said.

But neighbors on Frush Valley Road said they won't let it happen again.

"All the neighbors and friends are watching in the Frush Valley area and they will be caught," said Kathy Heim.

In the last month, similar incidents were reported in Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

To keep it from happening again, police offer this advice:

1. Don't let a "utility worker" in your home if you weren't given prior notice.

2. Call the utility company to confirm a worker was scheduled at your home.

3. Check an I.D. badge for specifics like a logo or the company/utility name.

4. Make sure the vehicle is properly marked.

If you have any information about the theft in Muhlenberg Township ... please call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.