Police warn of fake workers

Sheriff: Men were attempting to lure woman from home

The sheriff’s office is warning residents to be cautious after a woman reported men posing as utility workers tried to lure her away from her home late last week.

About noon Friday, a man in a green vest came onto the property on Clark School Road, near Hurricane Road, east of Greenwood.

The man told the resident he was putting in utility poles down the road and wanted to know where her property line was located, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.

The resident told the man where the line was, but he wanted her to come outside and show him, the report said.

After she walked out of the home to show him the southern property line, the man asked her to walk to the eastern property line, away from the door she came out of. She refused and went back inside, according to the sheriff’s office report.

When she walked back to the house, two men driving a black van with Illinois license plates were there. She asked them what company they worked for, and they wouldn’t tell her. The men said they would leave a business card in her mailbox but did not and then left, the report said.

Investigators suspect the men were trying to lure the woman away from her home so they could get inside and steal from her, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Col. Randy Werden said.

The incident happened Friday, but the woman did not report it until Monday morning. The sheriff’s office has not received any other reports, but Werden said the men likely will go to other homes, he said.

Werden wants to make sure residents are aware of what happened, so they can be cautious. But he also is hoping someone will recognize the vehicle and have more information for investigators, he said.

Utility workers typically wear identification badges and will have no problem identifying what company they work for, and that extends to contractors that work for utility companies, Werden said.

“This tends to lead us to believe this wasn’t legitimate, and we just wanted to get the word out there,” he said.

If residents see suspicious behavior, they should call and report it to police, Werden said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.