Editor's Note: The general location and time of day of this incident was not disclosed to the media for the victim's protection, officials with the Bloomfield Township Police Department said.
A young man who posed as a Bloomfield Township Water Department employee to gain entry to a home last week needed less than five minutes to steal jewelry valued at $25,000, authorities said.
The impostor said he was testing for rusty water and didn't take 'no' for an answer when the elderly resident initially denied him entry on Feb. 21, Bloomfield Township Police Department reports stated. But she relented after the man pulled out his cell phone and asked if she wanted to speak with his supervisor. Reports said that he also claimed the homeowner should have received a letter about rusty water in the area.
Once inside, the impostor remained on the cell phone and appeared, to the homeowner, to be talking to a supervisor, reports said. She watched as he tested multiple water faucets for about three minutes and then left.
The woman told police she later discovered that jewelry valued at $25,000 was missing. The intruder is described as olive skinned and in his early 20's. He was about 5-feet-4 inches tall, clean shaven, and wore a short stocking cap and a light blue jacket.
Investigators said they believe the man was on the phone with a second individual that would have entered the home while the impostor had the homeowner distracted.
Bloomfield Township issued a warning to all residents this week after the incident was reported the theft to authorities. The alert urges residents to:
- Ask for a township identification badge if they are approached at home by an individual claiming to be an employee.
- Look for a township-marked vehicle and know that township water employees wear a uniform with a township logo.
- Consider that township water department employees do not knock on doors unless there is an emergency, and will not try to enter homes without an appointment.
Police emphasized the warning and reiterated that residents can verify employment in a similar situation by calling 248-594-2800.
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