Police: Thieves posing as utility workers targeting homes in Memorial Villages

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by Ron Trevino / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:18 PM

HOUSTON—Police are warning residents of the Memorial Villages to be on the lookout for phony utility workers.

The neighborhoods in the Memorial Villages are some of the most expensive in town, and residents there enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the state.

But within the last week, two homes have been targeted by thieves posing as utility workers.

Police say the thieves are singling out elderly homeowners.

"They’re preying on people’s good nature that they’re going to be trusting and let them in the house and let them in their backyard, trying to cooperate with the utility company," Lt. Haril Walpole of the Memorial Village Police Department said.

Investigators say the suspects hit a home in Piney Point last Wednesday, pretending to be water company workers.

Then, Monday night, the suspects reportedly hit a home in Hunters Creek, posing as power company workers.

Police said the suspects, who arrived in a regular sedan dressed in street clothing, sweet-talked their way into the homes.

A female suspect did the talking.

"[She’s described as] very attractive – and a very smooth talker," Walpole said.

Police said while the homeowners were distracted in their backyards, one of the suspects snuck in through the front door and ransacked the homeowners’ bedrooms, looking for jewelry.

"That’s bad – especially, you know, older people who are sometimes confused about what’s going on. I think preying on them is especially bad," resident Polly Johnson said.

Police said this type of crime has become more popular in the last few years.

Now, they’re hoping to catch the woman and her two male counterparts before they strike again.

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