The Long Beach Police Department warned residents Thursday of a scam involving burglars posing as utility workers.
Police said they have received recent reports of people falsely representing themselves as utility workers in order to gain access to homes and burglarize the unsuspecting victims.
In some cases, the bogus utility workers target homes when no one is home. In other instances, the burglars worked as a team to distract a resident while his or her home is burglarized, police said.
Police said that residents should remain vigilant and emphasized that legitimate utility workers are always identifiable by their uniform and, upon request, a city issued identification card.
Utility companies will always make customer contact via a uniformed employee or a form that is left in a prominent location on the property. When forms are left, there is always a number provided to contact the utility company about the scheduled work.
Those still in doubt about the legitimacy of a utility worker can call their respective companies. Long Beach Gas and Oil can be reached at 562-570-2140 while the Long Beach Water Department can be contacted at 532-570-2300. Both companies offer 24/7 customer support.
Police also reminded residents to keep backyards secure at all times and to report any suspicious activity or loiterers to the Long Beach Police Department by calling 911 with a suspect description.