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Long IslandCrime

After two burglaries, Suffolk cops warn of thieves posing as utility workers

Suffolk police are warning of a scam in which people are posing as utility workers to gain access into homes following two similar burglaries this week that might be connected.

Police said in a statement Friday that the first incident occurred Monday at a home on Smith Road in Lake Ronkonkoma. A man posed as a Suffolk County Water Authority employee, police said, and asked a resident to check the water meter in the basement because of upcoming work.

The 81-year-old resident told police that someone else also was in the home. "The homeowner found another man in the hallway and told the two to leave. Nothing appears to have been stolen," cops said in the statement.

On Thursday about 10:30 a.m., a man who posed as a construction worker and wore a hat and vest was allowed into a home on Suffolk Drive in Sound Beach, police said. The man claimed to be a utility employee who needed access to the backyard to install underground Wi-Fi, police said. While the fake utility worker was escorted through the home and into a yard, he was speaking on the phone with someone, cops said.

When the suspect left the home, the victim discovered that cash had been stolen from the house. "Detectives believe a second person entered the home while the pair was outside," police said.

Police are investigating whether the two cases are linked, and they are warning the public to take precautions to protect themselves.

They recommend:

• Do not allow uninvited utility workers into your home.

• If someone comes to your home for an inspection or check, ask them for identification and call the company prior to allowing entry in the home.

• Keep doors locked.

• Immediately call 911 if someone tries to break in, or they’re attempting a deception burglary.

• If someone is attempting to offer a service, take note of their descriptions and their vehicles.

• Neighbors should keep a lookout for their elderly neighbors, who are targeted through similar scams.

Police urge anyone who believes they were victimized through this scam to call 911.

They ask for anyone with information on the burglaries to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652, or the Seventh Squad at 631-852-8752.

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