A 93-year-old Gaithersburg woman was the victim of a utility service scam, according to a news release by Montgomery County police.
On March 8, at approximately 2:43 p.m., officers responded to an address in the unit block of Highland Avenue for the report of a burglary, police said.
The victim told police that she saw a male suspect on her front porch wearing a white hard hat and a black jacket with an unknown emblem on the front, police said. The suspect claimed to work for the water company and that there had been a gas leak that had affected the water in the area.
The suspect and victim then went to the basement of the residence to check the main valve. While there, the victim was distracted and the suspect, along with a second suspect who had entered while the others were downstairs, removed items of value from the house and left the scene.
Police warn residents to be aware that all utility workers will carry proper identification. If a worker is unable to provide proper identification, do not allow him or her to enter your residence, they said. Additionally, you may check with your utility companies to determine whether the company has workers in your area before allowing the worker to enter your home.
Detectives are asking that anyone with information about this incident or the suspect(s) involved to please contact the 5th District Investigative Section at 240-773-6237, or the non-emergency line at 301-279-8000. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or enter a tip online. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.