Residents advised to be alert


Crescenta Valley Sheriff de­tectives are warning residents of a man who has attempted on two separate occasions to gain entrance into homes by claiming there is a water main break in the neighborhood. “[The suspect] claims he is working for a contractor in the area,” said Det. Rodger Burt.

The suspect, described as a Hispaic man in his 30s and dressed in a white shirt and tan pants, went to a home in the 2300 block of Bar­ton Lane. He allegedly told the homeowner that he was working construction in the area and had some connec­tion with the water depart­ment. He told the residents there was a problem with the main water line and their wa­ter could have been contami­nated and he needed to take a sample of the water to ana­lyze, Burt said.

The suspect was also wear­ing some type of identifica­tion badge. The homeowner allowed him into her home, but soon became suspicious.

“He then put a $100 bill on the kitchen counter and told them the water department wanted to pay them $38 for their trouble,” Burt said.

The homeowner said she did not have change.

“The suspect told her he would go out to his truck and get a voucher that she could take to the [Crescenta Valley Water District] to collect $38. He left her home and did not return,” Burt said.

It was not certain why he offered her the $100 but de­tectives suspect it was either a way for him to discover the location of any cash in the home or to give him more time to look around the home.

A similar incident oc­curred on Sept. 1 on Red­willow Lane in La Cañada. A man matching the same description allegedly told a homeowner that there was possible water contamina­tion due to construction. He entered the residence, the homeowner became suspi­cious and began asking for his identification. The sus­pect fled the home.

“[CVWD employees] would normally call from the of­fice prior to sending anyone out. All our employees carry a photo identification card,” said Dennis Erdman, CVWD general manager.

If homeowners are still con­cerned about the validity of a CVWD employee, Erd­man advised them to contact the district office and ask if there is any activity in their neighborhood.