Cops: Don’t get hosed by water worker scheme

The altercation happened outside the Cranston Police Department .

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Cranston police are on the hunt for two thieves who posed as water department workers to gain entry into a person’s home.

“The suspect claimed to be from the water department. He was wearing a blue-colored uniform and claimed he needed to come inside the residence to check the water quality,” said Cranston’s chief of police, Col. Michael Winquist. “The elderly person allowed that person into the residence.”

Winquist said the man and an accomplice were working an old scheme called a “diversionary breaking and entering,” in which one distracts the homeowner and the second steals valuables that are quick and easy to grab.

Similar cases have been reported in Coventry and Hopkinton, which police said were likely carried out by the same duo.

Winquist said it serves as a reminder for homeowners to be cautious.

“Normally the water department will not just show up at your residence to enter inside. Usually, they will make an appointment if they need to check the water meter,” Winquist said. “The water meter is usually outside the residence and they don’t need to come inside.”

Police said before letting anyone inside, homeowners should call the parent company to confirm the service is legitimate.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to police immediately.

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