Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Phony utility workers steal cash, checks, jewelry from S. Philly homes

A group of people posing as PECO maintenance workers visited two houses in South Philadelphia last week saying they needed to check for faulty electrical outlets.

Phony utility workers steal cash, checks, jewelry from S. Philly homes

A group of people posing as PECO maintenance workers visited two houses in South Philadelphia last week saying they needed to check for faulty electrical outlets.

Police said $1,000 in cash, jewelry and personal checks were reported stolen after they left.

On April 5, a man posing as a PECO worker visited a house on 15th Street near Moore and said he was there to check the home for faulty electrical outlets. Police said he left the house without incident.

Police described the suspect as a black man who is between 30 and 40 years old. He is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, was wearing a dark blue uniform and was carrying a maroon folder with “PECO” on the cover.

On April 7, a man came back to the house on 15th Street and said he was there to repair the faulty outlets that his coworker found two days earlier. He pretended to work on the outlets and stole jewelry and checks from a bedroom, police said.

The suspect in that incident is described as a thin black man who is between 30 and 40 years old and is about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a dark blue uniform, a baseball cap and was also carrying a bag, police said.

A pair of PECO posers visited a house on Ritner Street near 3rd on April 5, and said they needed to check for faulty outlets. When they left, $1,000 was reported stolen, police said.

The suspects in this incident are described as black man and a white woman, both in their 50s.

The man is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and was wearing a black hooded sweater and black pants. The woman is about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds and was also wearing a black hooded sweater and black pants, police said.

Police urge citizens to ask anyone claiming to work for a utility company for identification before allowing them into their homes. PECO workers are required to carry a photo identification badge and wear a navy blue or orange shirt with a PECO logo on it, police said.

Citizens who are uncomfortable with maintenance employees — or people pretending to be employees — visiting their homes are asked to call utility companies at the numbers listed below.

PECO - 1-800-494-4000

PGW - 215-235-1000

Water Department - 215-685-6300

Verizon - 1-800-837-4966

Comcast - 1-800-266-2278

About this blog

Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

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