A Dallas neighborhood group is warning its members in North Oak Cliff about a series of attempted burglaries by people posing as utility workers.
"If they show up unannounced then I would be very careful about assuming they are who they say they are," said Russ Aikman, a representative of North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol.
NOCUPP provides private police patrol service in East Kessler, Kessler Park, Kessler Plaza, Stephens Park Estates, Stevens Park Village, West Kessler and Winnetka Heights.
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The organization sent an email alert to its 1,100 members over the weekend warning of several recent reported attempts by people who claim to represent Oncor, Atmos Energy, AT&T or any one of a number of home security companies.
In the worst of the reported incidents, a man in his 40s or 50s and holding a clipboard told a woman she had to leave her house so he could shut off her gas, according to the NOCUPP alert.
The resident told the man she would be leaving the house later and that he should return then, according to a report. The woman's house was then burglarized while she was away, the report said.
"It is concerning, and so we do what we can to keep the neighborhood safe," Aikman said.
In other instances, a man has claimed to be a representative of the home security company to which a homeowner subscribes, a fact which is often made clear by signage from the company displayed in the front yard.
The man would tell the homeowner that he needed to come into the house to "check the system," but none of the homeowners reportedly complied, according to Airman.
A representative from Oncor told NBC 5 that there are many ways to confirm if someone who presents themselves as an employee of the utility is, in fact, legitimate.
All Oncor workers carry a photo ID, according to Justin Ozuna, an Oncor spokesman. In addition, Oncor utility workers will drive a marked vehicle, Ozuna said. And, most importantly, an Oncor representative will never ask to enter your home, according to Ozuna.