LAKE RONKONKOMA, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — The Suffolk County Police Department is warning residents of recent burglaries during which individuals posed as utility employees to gain entry into homes. The police issued the public safety alert late Friday afternoon.
As OnSachem News first reported this week, a man representing himself as a Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) employee asked to enter a home in Lake Ronkonkoma to "check the meter," the SCWA announced on Wednesday. Police provided additional information on Friday.
According to police, the incident happened along Smith Road on Monday, Oct. 12. The 81-year-old homeowner brought the man into the basement to look at the water meter. While in the basement, the homeowner heard someone else in the house. The homeowner found another man in the hallway and told the two to leave. Nothing appears to have been stolen, police said.
In a separate incident, a man wearing a construction hat and vest knocked on a door on Suffolk Drive in Sound Beach on Thursday, Oct. 15, at approximately 10:30 a.m. and claimed to be an employee of a utility company. He indicated he needed access to the backyard to install underground WiFi. While a resident escorted the man through the house and into the yard, the man was on the phone with someone. After the man left, the victim discovered cash had been stolen from the house. Detectives believe a second person entered the home while the pair was outside, police said.
Detectives are investigating if these two cases are connected and are reminding residents to take the following precautions:
• Do not allow uninvited repair/utility workers into your home.
• If someone claims to be at your home for an inspection or check, ask for identification and contact their company prior to allowing them into your home.
• Keep doors locked when possible to prevent anyone from entering your home.
• Call 911 immediately if someone attempts to enter your home or you suspect someone is attempting a deception burglary.
• If someone is attempting to offer a service, be sure to write a description of the individual and the vehicle.
• Older residents and those living alone are often targeted—neighbors should keep in contact to ensure that these individuals are not victimized.
Police said anyone who believes they are a victim of this scam should call 911 to make a report. Police ask the public to come forward if they have information about these two cases by calling the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or the Seventh Squad at 631-852-8752.