KENILWORTH, NJ – The Kenilworth Police Department is warning residents to take caution against diversionary thefts following the burglary of an elderly man by suspects dressed as employees of a water company.

According to Kenilworth Police Chief John Zimmerman, the incident occurred on June 24, when the suspect knocked on the victim’s door, identified himself as an employee of the company, and showed a badge. The suspect then went into the basement with the victim, where he turned on all faucets and washing machines.

The victim waited with the suspect for about 15 to 30 minutes. During that time, it is believed a second suspect entered the home and stole money from the victim’s bedroom and safe in his spare bedroom.

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“This type of theft has been occurring throughout Union County,” Zimmerman said in an automated message. “We need your help to be vigilant and stop this from reoccurring in our community. Utility workers, such as water and gas workers, no longer need to come inside of your home to read meters. They have no business coming inside your home. If anyone wants to enter your home for any reason, please call the Kenilworth police immediately so we can verify their identity and their purpose.”

A similar crime recently occurred in Roselle.

Anyone who has doubts about the legitimacy of utility workers in their area is encouraged to call the Kenilworth Police Department at 908-276-1700.