2012-06-20 / Features

Boro-Wide Blotter


Borough-Wide Alerts Beware Utility Man Scam

Queens police officials are warning borough residents–particularly seniors–to be on the lookout for a man posing as a worker for the city Department of Environmental Protection who scams residents to gain entrance to their homes.

Case in point: Cops said a senior homeowner fell prey to the scam on May 30 when she allowed the man inside her home to check her water meter.

The man, dressed in a green utility worker’s uniform, slipped into the victim’s bedroom while an accomplice “kept her busy”, police said. The suspect grabbed cash and calmly walked out the door of the residence, police said.

The victim did not notice the cash was missing until the next day and immediately alerted police.

Police are urging residents to deny access to any utility worker who arrives without a prior appointment and without proper identification. Legitimate utility workers and city employees are required to display a valid identification card with a photo when seeking entrance to a residence.

If someone appears at your door without proper identification, call the agency to verify the visit, police said.

If you feel threatened by a worker who appears at your door without an appointment, call 911 and ask police for assistance. Beware Con Ed Call Scam

Police are warning Queens residents to be wary of calls from Con Edison asking for payment.

Cops said a group of con artists have been calling residents to warn them that they must pay their utility bill or their service will be disconnected.

The caller tells victims to purchase an instore cash card for a specified amount from a local Walgreen’s Pharmacy and wait for the scammer to call back. When he or she calls back, the victim is told to give the caller the card number for immediate access to the cash on the card, police said.

“Sometimes these people tell the victim to call them back with the number,” police said. “It’s a huge scam.”

Police are urging residents who receive one of these calls to dial 911 for assistance or report the call to their local precinct.

If you believe you have received a questionable call from Con Edison, call the agency at the number on your bill to verify your payment status, police said. 108th Precinct Woodside Serial Burglars Busted

A pair of thieves linked to 12 burglaries in neighborhoods throughout Queens remains behind bars this week after they were caught red-handed breaking into a Woodside apartment, police said.

Cops said Jefferson Villarama climbed a ladder in an alley outside an apartment building on 64th Street and 51st Avenue on May 28 to gain entrance to an apartment while his accomplice, Michael Natindim, waited in a nearby getaway car.

Villarama was using a “blow torch device” to open the apartment window when he was spotted by a neighbor, who called police.

Cops who arrived at the scene arrested Villarama, but Natindim bolted from the car and fled on foot, leaving the idling vehicle behind.

Police recovered the vehicle, which was “filled” with stolen goods, including watches, televisions and other electronic devices swiped by the duo during their crime spree, authorities said.

During questioning at the 108th Precinct Detective Squad, Villarama gave investigators Nadindim’s home address, police sources said.

Cops went to the residence where they found Nadinim and arrested him as a suspect in the 12 burglaries, police said.

Investigators are working to link the duo to a string of 12 burglaries – eight in the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood, three in the 105th Precinct in Queens Village—and the May 28 attempted break-in at the Woodside apartment.

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