City of Bayonne
In the past week there have been three (3) incidents in the City where elderly residents have been victimized in their homes by individuals claiming to represent the City’s water utility company, United Water. All three instances occurred in the early afternoon hours, and resulted in the subsequent discoveries of cash missing from the homes. In two of these incidents the residents were approached while they were shoveling in front of their homes, while in the third incident the resident’s door bell was rung.
In all of the thefts, the individuals committing these crimes identified themselves as employees of the water utility, using fabricated United Water ID cards in two incidents. All of the victims were informed that there was a “water main break” in the area and that the victim’s homes had to be checked for water quality and pressure. Once inside the home, the residents were distracted by the individuals, being asked to run water in different parts of the home. Throughout these incidents the individuals utilized hand held radios (walkie talkies) to communicate with other individuals, who most likely also entered the homes to commit the thefts while the residents were distracted.
Unfortunately, these types of diversion thefts are committed everyday throughout our region, often by transient criminals who move about to avoid apprehension. To combat these incidents, residents should remain on guard for individuals who approach their residences uninvited or unannounced, especially those who arrive on foot without a proper identification and a marked work vehicle.
The Bayonne Police Department would like to remind residents that should the have any reason to doubt the identity of any individuals who approach them at their residence, uninvited or unannounced, they should refuse their entry and immediately contact the Police Department at 201-858-6900 for assistance.