Park Ridge woman target of ‘water department’ scam
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:05AM
PARK RIDGE — An 86-year-old Park Ridge woman became the latest victim of a ruse-entry scam involving suspects claiming to be municipal workers.
Park Ridge Police said the woman noticed a man standing in her Harrison Street driveway on Feb. 13 and inquired about what he wanted. The man told the woman he was with “the water department” and was there to check her water, but he did not show any identification, police said.
The woman allowed the man inside her home where he allegedly ran the water in her kitchen sink, spoke to someone on a cell phone and asked about the resident’s husband. When the doorbell rang, the home’s alarm system activated and the man left the residence, police said.
Later the woman discovered one of her bedroom drawers open and jewelry missing, according to police.
Elderly residents are often targeted for such scams which involve visitors claiming to be workers, neighbors or family members of neighbors who try to enter the home or distract the residents while a theft is committed. At least two ruse-entry scams involving men wanting to check residential water have been reported in the area in recent weeks. On Jan. 15 jewelry was stolen from the home of an elderly Niles couple when two men asking to check the water were allowed inside, and on Jan. 29 a man claiming to be with the water department made contact with a 93-year-old woman in Niles, but she did not invite him into her home.
Police are reminding residents not to allow anyone they do not know inside their home, especially someone who is claiming to be there to perform a service but does not have identification.
“If in doubt, call the police,” said Park Ridge Police Cmdr. Jason Leavitt.