Burglars pose as CPS, SAWS in scam

20 elderly residents have been victimized

Published On: Feb 07 2012 04:08:04 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 07 2012 04:32:33 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

At least 20 elderly San Antonio residents were victimized by crooks posing as CPS and SAWS workers, police said.

Police said an imposter will knock on a person's front door and tell them they are with one of the municipal organizations. They will get the resident to go with them into their backyard as if work needs to be done, while their accomplice comes in through the front door and steals whatever they can.

Authentic CPS Energy and SAWS employees are easily recognizable with their uniforms, hats and badges, police said. They said the imposters are getting harder to spot, even pretending to be city inspectors.

"These suspects are like chameleons changing their hats and shirts to adjust to any appearance necessary," SAPD Assistant Chief Jose Banales said.

SAWS spokesman Greg Flores said their workers should have no reason to go inside a home unless an appointment has been scheduled.

Maria Koudouris with CPS Engery said an employee may need to go onto your property, but it "is highly unlikely that the homeowner will need to accompany that employee."

Even still, at least 20 people, all between the ages of 75 to 95, have fallen for the scam since last October.

Police said the imposters are three men, the oldest being 40 to 50 years old with graying hair and the other two are between 35 and 45 years old; one of them is bald.

They have been seen in a white Ford Explorer with a ladder on the roof, in a tan or light colored truck and a silver or light colored older van.

CrimeStoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to an arrest. Police urge citizens to call CPS or SAWS to verify employment and dial 911 if they ask for payment.