EAST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A 79-year-old woman is warning people to beware of men who pose as Department of Water and Power workers to distract residents and rob their homes.
The East Hollywood resident said she can’t believe she was duped by their scam.
Two men came knocking at 4 p.m. Thursday and offered to do free minor repairs to the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law.
“Did they show you a badge?” CBS2/KCAL9’s Greg Mills asked.
“Nothing, really, just flashed it. I didn’t really see it; I should have taken a really good look,” homeowner Len Yamasaki said.
They said they’d fix valves on her water heater for free, so she led them to the heater outside.
The imposters told her to go inside and turn on all the faucets.
She went into the bathroom to turn on the faucets and when she came out she spotted a third man sitting on her bed.
By that point, Yamasaki figures the robber had stuffed his pockets with the jewelry from her dresser.
“They got away with my daughter’s gold diamond earrings,” she said. “They just took some costume jewelry.”
Before she could register what was happening, the three men took off. She ran outside looking for a DWP truck but instead saw the men get into an unmarked car.
The DWP said these kind of scams happen frequently.
“Our service reps are typically going to be in uniform with a DWP logo on their shirt,” DWP security director Patrick Findley said.
Workers will always be carrying a badge, and Findley urges homeowners to take a good look at it. “It has our department logo on it. It has our photograph and the name of the individual.”
Homeowners should also be aware that DWP workers show up by appointment only, are limited to working on the exterior of the home and will never go inside.