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2 fake-plumber burglars target South Bay

October 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police are warning homeowners after two men posing as plumbers burglarized houses in the South Bay. Two burglaries happened late last week in El Segundo. One of the alleged victims said he fell for the ruse and allowed two men into his house. He said he was taken for thousands of dollars' worth of belongings. He said the two were in his house for less than a minute.

"He said, 'We have a big emergency. We have a sewer problem. And I want to turn on your water and your sink there and also in the toilet. Can I?' And I said, 'OK, let's do it,'" said the homeowner, who did not want to be identified.

He said he's one of the two victims that allowed a man posing as a plumber into his house.

El Segundo Police say the suspects hit a home on the 600 block of Bungalow Dr. last Thursday. The second burglary occurred on the 400 block of Hillcrest St. happened last Friday.

"He indicates he's a plumber," said El Segundo Police Lt. Raymond Garcia. "He's investigating a sewage break or water-main break in the area and he needs to inspect their home. He ruses them into the back yard, asks them to run their water and while he checks the bathroom for other issues. And while they're away from the home, he quickly ransacks, gets what he needs to, and leaves out the front door."

The unidentified alleged victim says the man was in his home for about 20 seconds when he says something just wasn't right and he went back in. That's when the so-called plumber ran off.

"I lost about four grand of stuff of my grandson's that he had in a little suitcase-type fireproof thing," said the homeowner.

The two suspects are described as Hispanic, about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Both are heavyset in their 30s. El Segundo Police are also looking into whether the two may have hit neighboring cities using the same ruse.

If you have any information on the two suspects, you're urged to call the El Segundo Police Department at (310) 524-2200.


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