Thieves posing as utility workers hit several communities

Updated 10/22/14 1:30 PM

By: Melissa Randall

Be on alert. That’s the message from Cranston police after an elderly man in the Edgewood section of the city was robbed in his home by men pretending to be from the water department. The break–in has the Vargas family thinking twice about who they let in.

“We need to be careful. Especially we have kids and a family,” said Cranston resident Rose Vargas.

“Someone’s knocking at the door we have to look out the window of course before you open it up,” said Rose’s husband, Victor Vargas.

But even that didn’t help the unsuspecting victim. He was fooled by one of the suspects who said he was there to fix a problem. When the old man let him in a second suspect entered the home and took off with the goods.

“These gentlemen do have uniforms, and they do act as if they are there for official purposes, but they are not. They are there to break in to these houses,” said Col. Michael Winquist of the Cranston Police Dept.

A similar home invasion was reported by an 83–year–old Hopkinton woman last week. She refused to let the men in and was held in chair while they stole jewelry. And an older couple in Coventry was also recently hit by thieves pretending to work for the water department. Police say the victims ages make them easy targets.

The description of the men in all 3 cases- tall, thin, and with dark short hair- match.

“We are working hard with those other communities to try and identify these suspects and make these arrests,” said Col. Winquist.

Residents are encouraged to verify appointments with the utility company prior to allowing any worker to enter their home. If something seems off call police immediately.

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