By Mary O’KEEFE
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.