Galveston Police are warning about thieves who are posing as utility workers. They say once you open the door, they try to steal as much as they can get their hands on.
Police say a fake Center Point worker forced his way into an elderly woman's home and took off with her purse.
No one in this case was hurt, but detectives want people to be on alert.
They say this is not the first time for this type of scam in the city and they want to make sure it doesn't escalate into more serious crimes.
"In this case we're thinking he flipped the breaker to get her attention," said Galveston County Police Detective Dion Watson.
When she went out to check the situation, Watson explained, a man claiming to be with the power company, was ironically waiting to help.
"While she was getting the flashlight he saw her purse, snatched it and took off running out of her residence," he said.
"This has happened before," said resident Rose Daniels.
It's a story that's all too familiar to the 69-year-old, but her friend wasn't so lucky.
"He jumped her - tried to take her purse and took anything out the house that he could possibly take," she said. "Yeah, it's scary - the older we get we're not really thinking about something like that," Daniels said.
Out of this tragedy though, she learned some important lessons.
She put a lock on her utility box.
"And I have a security system too," she said.
Daniels also has a lot of lights surrounding her house and makes sure the weeds and trees are cut back so there are no blind spots for thieves to hide.
When the community garden, next to her house is up and running, she's hoping all the activity will also help serve as a deterrent.
"We check on each other," she said referring to her friend Wilma Boone. "This is my friend, that's what we're doing - we check on each other," Daniels said.
"No, I don't, I don't answer my door, I don't open it - usually if someone's coming to my home they will call me," Boone said.
These ladies aren't just armed with knowledge.
"Does this make you a little nervous when you hear these things," I asked. "Not really," Boone said. "Why, because you have good friends," I asked. "And I have a 9 millimeter," she said.
"We went to classes so we could get a certificate for our guns at the citizen's police academy," Daniels said.
Detective Watson reminds that most utility workers will be in uniform with the company's name or logo on the front and will most likely be in a marked vehicle.
However some companies do contract workers, so he says ask to see credentials and if you're still concerned call the company or the police.
Fake Center Point Worker Targeting Elderly In Galveston
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