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Fake inspectors rob Riverside home

August 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Riverside residents should beware of thieves who are posing as water inspectors to gain entry to homes, then distracting the occupants while stealing valuables, police said Friday. A neighborhood in a historic area of downtown Riverside is on the watch after a resident was robbed back on August 1.

Police say that two men knocked on an elderly man's door and when an answered they told him that the water in the area was contaminated, two people had already died, and they needed to come inside to inspect all of the faucets.

Only they were not from the water district, police say that it was all a scam. While one of the men kept the homeowner busy inside, the other person robbed the home for 20 minutes and stole a lot of jewelry.

Later in the day the homeowners found out what happened and called Riverside police.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that to happen in this neighborhood," said resident, Melissa Brown.

Melissa Brown says she knows the couple that was robbed. She says it is a good wake up call for everyone that lives in the neighborhood.

"Well I'm sure not going to let anybody in and I am sure the neighbors won't either. We have a really good neighborhood watch system here. There is an e-mail system that we use when something like that happens and we notify everyone right away," said Brown.

Police didn't say whether this was an isolated incident or whether it might have happened to others as well.

Residents say that it is a shame, but it is something everyone can learn from.

"We would all like to be more trusting, but I think you just have to raise your awareness and not let anyone in the house," said a concerned resident.

Anyone with information about the scammers is encouraged to contact Riverside police at (951) 826-8716.

 

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