Two San Francisco homes were burglarized Monday in separate incidents by men posing as utility workers, police said.
The first incident happened about 2:40 p.m. in the Mission district. Three men arrived at a 62-year-old woman's home in the 2300 block of Bryant Street claiming to be workers from the water department who needed to check pipes in the house.
One of the men convinced the woman to stay outside while the other two went inside. But instead of checking the pipes, they stole a set of car keys and two handguns.
The second burglary occurred about 4 p.m. in the Bayview district. The three suspects posed as PG&E workers to gain entry to a house in the 2000 block of Carroll Avenue. A 15-year-old boy who lived there let them inside.
The suspects purposely broke the water heater and told the boy to stand by it, police said. While the boy waited by the water heater, the crooks went to the master bedroom and stole an undisclosed amount of cash.
The scams have been common in The City, having happened several times over the past few years.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been trying to spread the word about these types of scams.
Residents are advised to follow these safety tips:
– SFPUC workers will always have an official identification badge containing the agency and city logo.
– SFPUC workers usually arrive to a location in either a department vehicle with green striping and The City’s seal or a plain white city vehicle also with The City’s seal and an identification number.
– SFPUC workers never show up at a home or business without an appointment.
– SFPUC workers will never ask for money.
– Most SFPUC projects take place on streets and sidewalks and other public right-of-ways and are publicly announced in advance.
– If something does not seem right, trust your instincts. You have the right to refuse entry to any individual. And if you feel threatened, call 911. For more information, visit www.sfwater.org or www.sf-police.org.
PG&E said their workers will always identify themselves and will usually schedule an appointment before arriving to a home. They recommend following these steps if something seems suspicious:
– Customers should always ask to see identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are willing to show it to you.
– If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at (800) 743-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in your area. If you feel threatened in any way, notify local law enforcement immediately.
– Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.