The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 18, 2013

Police warning of men posing as utility workers

— The Joplin Police Department issued a warning Monday regarding reports of one or more impostors showing up at the doors of elderly residents and pretending to be Empire District Electric Co. employees checking on circuit breaker boxes.

Police warned that the impostors may be interested in stealing items from residences where they are let in, or they may be casing the homes to commit future burglaries.

Police think more than one person may be involved since descriptions have varied. One resident described a man in a black pickup truck, another a man in a red Chevrolet Avalanche. One impostor was described as wearing a hard hat and a pink shirt. Another was said to be dressed in a tan polo-style shirt and khaki pants.

Empire District employees use company vehicles and are highly unlikely to need to enter a residence, police said. The company advises residents to call Empire’s offices if anyone comes to their door identifying himself as an Empire employee and they are unsure of his legitimacy.