CLARK, NJ – A tall, slenderly-built Hispanic male is suspected of burglary after identifying himself as a water company employee to gain entrance into the home of elderly residents on Fulton Street on Tuesday, Clark Chief of Police Pedro Matos said.
The suspect, bearing identification, told the homeowners he needed to check their water supply, Matos said. The homeowners went into the basement with the man. At some point the suspect left the basement. When the homeowners came back upstairs the suspect had vanished.
The residents subsequently realized cash and jewelry were missing, Matos said. There may have been a second suspect, he said.
Matos referred to this incident as a "diversionary crime."
"Residents should not to let anyone into their homes without confirming who they are by checking their identification and calling the company to verify their identity," Matos said. "Any legitimate employee will not have an issue with a resident doing that.”
He also warned that residents should not use a phone number provided by the person requesting access to the home. Instead, the resident should get a phone number for the company the person claims to represent directly from the internet, yellow pages or a utility bill.
Since these crimes are often directed at the elderly, Clark police are asking all residents to share information about Tuesday's incident with those most susceptible.
If anyone has any information about this incident, they are asked to contact the Clark Police Department at (732) 388-3434.