Police seek robber who posed as PWD worker in Grey's Ferry

Paul Kurtz
May 03, 2019 - 6:47 pm

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Water Department


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Police are searching for man who robbed a Grey's Ferry woman by posing as a Philadelphia Water Department worker.    

Police have released surveillance video of the April 23 incident which shows a man walking along 36th and Wharton Streets casing homes and apartments. Sometime later, the same man is seen wearing a yellow safety vest and walking up a flight of steps. 

Captain Sekou Kinebrew says the man knocks on the door and tells the homeowner that he has to test her water.

"He goes to the kitchen, fills up a tube or vial and then tells the victim to close the door because it's too bright. When she does that he goes behind her, grabs her forcefully, she fights mightily, tremendous courage,” he explained. “So a struggle ensues and ultimately he does flee the location after taking her cellphone."

The man dropped the phone as he ran away, police say. The incident has since grabbed the Water Department's attention.

"We are almost never going to be at someone's house unless they call us out there for a reason," said Spokesman John Digiulio.

He says all workers are supposed to show an official ID.

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Water Department

"If you don't know why someone's there, if they're not telling you why they're there don't let them in and call 911,” Digiulio says. “The Water Department will not insist on it, so if someone's saying they have to, no they don't."