May 22, 2008
San Francisco Police are alerting San Francisco residents to a burglary series in which the suspects gain entry into a residence by posing as utility workers and search the premises for valuables. The three male suspects involved in this series may have been responsible for as many as thirty such burglaries over a two-year period, beginning in 2006, mainly in the Taraval and Richmond districts. They may also have committed burglaries on the Peninsula and East Bay as well.
The suspects claim to be Utility or Water Department employees who need to test water pipes or other utility device. While one suspect pretends to conduct tests, another suspect looks for valuables. Although there are variations in the suspects' methods, the basic technique is to distract the resident sufficiently to allow one suspect to case the premises. The victims targeted have been either elderly or of Asian descent.
The three suspects are described as Hispanic or Latin-appearing, ranging in age from 35-50. Composite sketches of the suspects are on Crime Bulletin 08-20, which is posted on the SFPD Web site, sfgov.org/police.
San Francisco residents, particularly the elderly and those of Asian descent, should be wary of persons stating that they are from a San Francisco department and who claim they must get into a residence for checking and testing a utility. They should not be admitted but made to wait outside a closed and locked front door while the resident phones the agency to check on the employee.
San Francisco Safety Awareness for Everyone (SAFE), 415-673-7233, offers important safety tips on fraudulent practices as well as other crime preventative measures in a variety of languages.
For more information, please contact the Public Affairs Office, 553-1651.
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103