Water Department impostor robs residents

An unknown man who poses as a Water Department employee to residents — only to rob them of personal property — struck twice Tuesday in San Mateo, police said.

Both burglaries took place Tuesday in the morning or early afternoon and were committed by a Polynesian male between 20 and 30 years old, police said. According to San Mateo police Capt. Kevin Raffaelli, the man is 5 feet 10 inches tall, approximately 200 pounds and was wearing a dark blue one-piece work suit and white hard hat. Raffaelli said he drove an old black van.

In both cases, he told residents he was with the Water Department to check on the condition of their water. He then distracted the resident and stole personal property, including jewelry.

“It’s just another scam, there are all kinds of impersonation scams, from people claiming to be wanting to fix something or install new paving material,” Raffaelli said.

Raffaelli said that city or county employees will be able to present valid identification when contacting residents, and they will rarely arrive unannounced. Concerned residents should keep the person outside their home while they call to verify the identity of the worker.

If a worker claims to be from the California Water Department, the local district office can be reached at (650) 558-7800.

jgoldman@examiner.com


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