Police: beware of home burglary scam - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County

Police: beware of home burglary scam

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Officials issued a warning for residents in Lancaster County, after police said a man posed as a water company worker to burglarize an elderly woman's home.

Police said the incident happened on the 1000 block of Marshall Avenue in Manheim Township.

The burglary has neighbors in the quiet community on edge.

"A lot of people leave their doors unlocked around here. You can see in my yard, we leave our bikes out and we never have issues," said Terri, a neighbor. "I wouldn't personally invite a big man in my house that I didn't know."

But according to police, an elderly woman did. Police said a man pretended to be from the water company, and told the woman there was a water pressure issue and he needed to come inside. The elderly victim found out she left a burglar inside when he stole cash and jewelry.

"It's really unfortunate at any time of the year, but particularly at this time of year that somebody would take advantage of our customers like that," said Lancaster City Public Works director Charlotte Katzenmoyer.

Katzenmoyer said it is a scam that can be avoided if you know what to look for.

"Every employee carries an ID badge that has their name, their date of hire," Katzenmoyer said. "Make sure that it has all the info that should be on that ID and not just somebody who has tried to copy that ID."

Katzenmoyer also said any city employee will also have a marked car and uniform. But if you are still not sure about the person knocking on your door, pick up the phone.

"We encourage them to call and confirm the identity," Katzenmoyer said. "We want to protect our customers and make sure that this doesn't happen again to someone else."

Katzenmoyer said the warning is not only for people in the Manheim Township community. Lancaster City provides services for about ten other municipalities, and people in those communities should also be cautious.

Police said they have not made any arrests. The suspect was a white male about 5'4" and 280 lbs. Anyone with information should call Manheim Township police at 569-6401.

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