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Imposter Utility Workers Target The Elderly In N.J.

Anthony Manziano and Josephine Nawrocki (credit: CBS 2)

Anthony Manziano and Josephine Nawrocki (credit: CBS 2)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Amateur vocalist Anthony Manziano is singing the blues over being hit by thieves. The 87-year-old retired railroad worker and Josephine Nawrocki, who live together in Jersey City, found themselves the latest victims of scammers targeting the elderly.

“Mentally disgusted, but what can you do?” he told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“My heart is pounding. Like, I can’t sleep” she said.

Three men who claimed to be doing plumbing work next door, rang the bell and said they needed to check the water Tuesday Avenue on Woodlawn Avenue.

“They wanted to check to see if it’s contaminated. If it’s green, they know it’s all right,” Nawrocki said.

While two men and the couple checked the water downstairs and then upstairs, a third man was at work. Three hours later, they find that drawers had been opened.

“That third guy was in here. He was in here stealing,” she said. “Those fellows must be thieves. I open my drawer and my jewelry’s gone.”

The jewelry was worth $2,000. In addition, Manziano lost cash, the least of which was $200 out of his wallet.

“Took $3,000 out of my drawer over here. Had a pinky ring on the panel, took the pinky ring,” he said.

“Don’t ever open the door. Don’t let anyone in,” Nawrocki advises.

Police agree, saying residents should never open the door to people claiming to do repair work unless the workers are expected and have proper IDs.

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