CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police in New Jersey are looking for a pair of suspects they say posed as PSE&G employees to rob an elderly resident’s home.
According to Clifton police, a man claiming to be a worker with PSE&G distracted an 87-year-old woman while another suspect broke in and stole the homeowner’s cash and jewelry on Saturday.
The phony PSE&G worker reportedly knocked on the woman’s back door, displayed a metal badge and fake ID for the company, and told the victim he was there to check the neighborhood water supply.
When the homeowner became suspicious, the suspect led the woman outside to show her what he described as a PSE&G van parked nearby. That’s when Clifton police say a second suspect broke through the front door and stole the woman’s property.
The suspect posing as a PSE&G worker was described as a white man in his 40’s.
Authorities say this diversion style of burglary is not a new trend. Police in New Jersey add that scammers commonly prey of elderly residents; using schemes that both confuse and cause victims to drop their guard.
Local residents have been urged to not answer their door for people they’re not familiar with and to call Clifton Police or the company a suspicious worker is claiming to be working for. Aside from emergencies, utility companies do not normally go to residences unannounced.