Burglars Posing As Power Company Workers Target Montville, N.J. Residents

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Morris County, New Jersey issued a warning Friday about burglars who try to get in by knocking on the front doors of homes.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, storms on Thursday knocked out power for some. So for a pair of homeowners in Montville Township, it probably did not seem odd that a man knocked on their door claiming to be with a utility company.

“There was a gentleman standing there in a yellow reflective vest, stated he was a JCP&L worker and that there was a power outage in the area, and he had to check the breakers in her house,” said Montville police Chief Rudy Appelmann.

So the woman and her husband let the man in and brought him upstairs.

“While they were talking, they heard a noise downstairs,” Appelmann said. “The wife went downstairs and saw a second male also in a reflective vest.”

When the couple confronted the men, they took off. Police said they took items from the woman’s purse.

CBS2’s Gainer spoke with residents along Pine Brook Road where the incident happened.

“If I’m not expecting anyone to come inside my door, definitely I would not open,” one neighbor said.

“It is scary, which means you can’t trust anybody today,” another said.

Police on Friday were reminding everyone what to do if someone knocks at your door claiming to be with a power company.

“Most power companies will not come into your house. They take care of the service to the house. It’s your electrician from inside,” Appelmann said. “So unless they have proper identification and of you’re not sure who they are, call the company to identify their verification. Demand identification — some sort of photo id.”

In the worst case, Appelman nsaid, people can call police.

Jersey Central Power & Light said it takes customer safety seriously and offers tips on its website to avoid being the victim of a scam.

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