Violent home robbery sparks warning from PGW: Watch for impostors

Tim Jimenez
November 20, 2018 - 6:59 am
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Ognian Setchanov | Dreamstime.com

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — PGW is warning people to be very careful when someone claiming to be from the utility knocks on their door. 

Watch out for imposters is the message from PGW, and all utility companies.

"These criminals are very good at identifying and targeting the most vulnerable in our population," Barry O'Sullivan, a PGW spokesperson, said.

This latest warning comes after an armed robbery over the weekend. 

Philadelphia Police say a couple of men claiming to be with PGW went to a house in the Wissinoming section of the city on Saturday afternoon. Investigators say they told the man in the house that there was a gas leak in the area and they had to check the basement. 

In the basement, police say the fake gas workers beat up the victim, tied him up and demanded money. They ran off with thousands of dollars and jewelry. 

PGW emphasizes if there is a real emergency, there will be PGW trucks everywhere, not just a couple of guys at the door.

"There's no way that two people would randomly turn up at your house and say that they have miraculously pinpointed an issue in your basement when there's no other activity on your street," O'Sullivan said.

Sullivan advises home owners to check IDs before letting anyone in who claims to be with the utility. Don't give them any personal or account information. And even if they show ID and you feel unsure, call 911 and let police handle it. 

Police say they found hardhats, a gas detector and a clip board, but O'Sullivan says their understanding is that the ahrd hats weren't official gear and did not bear any PGW logos.