Elderly women in Bethesda, Chevy Chase target of utility scam -- Gazette.Net



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Elderly women in Bethesda and Chevy Chase were the target of a utility scam that took place in two separate incidents on the same day last week.

On Oct. 26 at approximately 11:35 a.m., officers responded to the 5300 block of Sherrill Ave., in Chevy Chase, according to a press release from the Montgomery County Police Department.

The 87-year-old victim told police that a man wearing tan pants and a hard hat claimed to work for Bethesda Water Company and needed to check her water pressure due to a water main break. After a neighbor arrived to check on the victim, the suspect explained that he worked for the Bethesda Water Company and left the residence.

He was last seen getting into a gray Saturn vehicle. At no time did the suspect enter the residence, police said.

At approximately 11:50 p.m. that day, police responded to the 5200 block of Alta Vista Road in Bethesda for a report of a burglary. The 86-year-old victim told police that a male wearing blue jeans, a reflective vest, and hard hat claimed to work for the water company and needed to check the water pressure in the basement due to a water main break. The victim accompanied the man to the basement, but heard footsteps upstairs, according to police.

When the victim questioned the man about the footsteps, he quickly left the residence, police said. After the suspect left, the victim discovered jewelry missing from her bedroom upstairs, police reported.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, police warn that there will be an increased amount of utility work. All utility workers carry identification. If a worker is unable to provide proper identification, police warn residents not to allow him or her to enter the home. Residents also can check with their utility companies to determine whether they have workers in the area.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information about these incidents or the suspects involved to contact the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112.

jablamsky@gazette.net