YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Elmwood Park couple in their 80s had more than $11,000 in cash, jewelry and memorabilia stolen by a pair of con men who got into their home yesterday by pretending to be utility workers.
The men came to the Beech Street couple’s door just after 2 p.m. saying that they needed to check the water pressure. The high number of water-main breaks due to recent frigid temperatures gave them a perfect cover for a diversion theft, authorities said.
One of the thieves also wore some type of identification card around his neck to trick the couple, Elmwood Park Detective Capt. Michael Foligno told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.
While one took the 87-year-old husband into the basement, the other asked the 84-year-old wife to turn on the kitchen sink. He then pretended to check the bathroom — but, instead, ransacked bedrooms, Foligno said.
The couple said the crooks then walked off, with no vehicle seen.
Both thieves were white, the couple said.
One appeared to be in his mid-30s, about 5-foot-7, with a medium build, a beard and glasses. He had on a black jacket and a tan baseball cap with an emblem, and was wearing the ID card around his neck.
The other was described as being in his late 30s to early 40s, about 5-foot-8, with a heavier build and brushed back hair, unshaven and wearing a tan jacket.
If you believe you’ve seen either or both, or know them, please call Elmwood Park police: (201) 796-0700
Investigators obtained fingerprints that were being checked against databases and would prove useful if arrests are made.
Meanwhile, Foligno urged residents to not open their doors for strangers, and to call police immediately when someone asks to come in. Or call the particular company they say they work for.
True utility workers will wait patiently outside if you do. Thieves will take off.
If you have elderly parents or other relatives, please discuss this with them.
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