NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are searching for three men who stole from a 79-year-old Brooklyn woman by tricking her.

The suspects were caught on camera at an apartment building near 82nd Street and 19th Avenue in Bensonhurst.

Police said the men rang several residents’ buzzers until someone let them in. Once inside, they headed for the elevator.

“It’s the first I’m hearing about this and I’m surprised,” one neighbor told CBS2’s Marc Liverman.

She was even more surprised by what happened next.

Police said one of the suspects knocked on the 79-year-old victim’s door, then posed as a salesman from a gas and electric company offering discounts. He asked if she needed a seniors discount on her bill, and she left him inside.

The woman left the man by the front entrance of her apartment and went to get some paperwork in another room. When she came back, she showed him the paper, and he left.

Police said that’s when she noticed $80 missing from her purse.

Other residents in the building told Liverman they experienced something similar – men who they believe were also posing as gas and electric salesmen.

“They actually say that they come from the gas and the stuff and they want to check for the gas and the electric and all the stuff, but I say, ‘actually no, I don’t need to do anything,'” one man said.

“She me your bills, we’ll pay some tax or something like this,” said a woman.

“He was acting nervous, he just like waiting for anyone to give him a chance to come in and leave,” the man added. “The way he was acting, I feel like something weird with it right away, you know?”

Police warn the public to be cautious about letting people into their homes who are offering utility discounts.


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