BAYONNE – Elderly residents were victimized in their homes this past week by individuals claiming to represent the City’s water utility company, United Water, officials said.
Three incidents were reported in the early afternoon and the victims were approached either outside their home or at their front door. They were told that there was a “water main break” in the area and that the homes had to be checked for water quality and pressure. The thieves even went to the extent of fabricating United Water ID cards, Police Chief Drew Niekrasz said.
While the suspects were in the home they did several things to distract the resident, such as asking them to turn on water in different parts of their home. They used handheld radios to communicate with other individuals, who were most likely committing the same crime at other homes in the area.
The victims later discovered they were missing money.
“Unfortunately, these types of diversion thefts are committed everyday throughout our region, often by transient criminals who move about to avoid apprehension,” said Cheif Niekrasz.
Residents are being advised to remain on guard for individuals who approach their residences uninvited or unannounced, especially those who arrive on foot without a proper identification and/or a marked work vehicle.
The Bayonne Police Department would like to remind residents that should the have any reason to doubt the identity of any individuals who approach them at their residence, uninvited or unannounced, they should refuse their entry and immediately contact the Police Department at 201-858-6900 for assistance.