SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Police, as well as surrounding agencies, have received reports of individuals approaching homes and posing as legitimate emergency or utility workers.

These criminals make contact and claim affiliation to a water department, a gas company or similar enterprise in order to gain access into a residence. Once inside the home, they will distract the resident and request they assist them in completing a task while they go to another room or floor of the home and remove items. They will often target homes inhabited by elderly individuals.

Residents are asked to share this information with family members and neighbors. NOTIFY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY of any suspicious individuals approaching any homes/residents. Remember that all utility workers should always have their official company ID available and a prominent company logo on their uniform and vehicle.

If you have a doubt regarding the identity of an individual claiming to be a utility worker, have the person wait outside until confirmation can be made via the company or police. Responding officers can check their credentials and verify their position as well as the reason for the service call.