NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are warning Nassau County residents after a string of burglaries in which at least one man has posed as a utility worker to gain access to homes.

At least three elderly people in Syosset, New Hyde Park and Westbury have been victims of recent so-called “distraction burglaries,” police told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

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The thefts involve a man coming to the door, claiming to be with the water or gas company and saying he needs to check inside the house, said Nassau County police Chief Kevin Smith. After the man is inside and has the resident’s attention, a second accomplice sneaks in, finds a bedroom and swipes jewelry and cash, Smith said.

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“In one case, a guy was wearing a yellow-type work vest and did display a card that appeared to be some kind of a National Grid card,” Smith told Hall. “But again, it’s easy enough to make a bogus card. So we want you to basically watch out for your neighbors.

“What they do is they’ll go around the house, and they say they’re testing your faucets, possibly looking for maybe green water,” Smith added.

Smith advised residents that, when in doubt, not to let people inside their homes and to instead call 911.

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