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Los Altos Police Department
Tuesday July 21st, 2015 :: 09:30 a.m. PDT


Residents warned not to fall victim to recent utility worker scam hitting Los Altos

On Monday, July 20, 2015 at approximately 1:00 p.m., a residential burglary occurred in the 700 Block of Jordan Avenue. Two suspects impersonating water service workers made contact with the victim at his residence. The suspects told the victim that the water supply to his home had possibly been contaminated due to construction in the neighborhood.

The victim allowed the suspects into his home at their request to inspect the faucets for any water contamination. After running the water on several faucets, the suspects left and the victim soon discovered that his home had been burglarized.

At approximately 11:00 a.m. the same day, a suspicious circumstance was reported to Los Altos Police in the 1000 Block of Los Altos Avenue. The residents reported that a water utility worker informed them that their water may be contaminated and he would like to enter the home to inspect the faucets. This resident allowed one of the suspects inside where again, the suspect turned on several faucets; however, the suspects left without burglarizing the residence.

Images of the suspects were obtained from video surveillance in the area. Based on the descriptions provided by both residents, police believe that the same two suspects are responsible for both incidents and would like to warn residents not to fall victim to this scam.

Please use caution when allowing a utility worker access to your home. Legitimate utility employees will rarely arrive unexpectedly. Even then, they will carry credentials identifying them as employees of the utility company. Ask to see the worker’s credentials and a work order. If any suspicion remains, do not allow them into your home and contact the corresponding utility company immediately to verify the worker’s business at the home. 

The Los Altos Police Department would like to remind the public to be vigilant in:

1. Reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods (i.e. any individuals exhibiting behavior consistent with “casing” their neighborhood, aggressive solicitors, suspicious vehicles not known to the neighborhood, etc.). When calling, the public is asked to articulate specific observations, which would substantiate their suspicions.

2. Securing their homes: There are a variety of preventative measures community members can take to secure their homes and deter criminal activity. Some of these techniques include installing burglar alarms, locking perimeter gates and access points, installing exterior motion lights, and video surveillance systems. Any residents interested in receiving a free home security inspection are asked to contact Community Service Officer Josh Cottrell at (650) 947-2647.

Please report suspicious activity to the Los Altos Police Department at (650) 947-2770. 

For emergency calls, or suspected in-progress crimes, please dial 9-1-1.

Los Altos Police Department
1 N San Antonio Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-947-2770

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