Criminals pose as power company workers

Last updated 12:13 30/07/2013

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Criminals masquerading as cold callers from a power company have been going door-to-door in Wellington casing houses for burglaries, police say.

A man was arrested 12 days ago and found with power company-branded identification and a jacket, which did not belong to him, Senior Sergeant Brett Callander of the Wellington community policing unit said.

He had allegedly been going from house to house in Island Bay, identifying himself as a power company employee. While the householder was busy, another man was going around the house, apparently checking it out for a later burglary.

No burglaries had been attributed to the bogus salespeople, he said.

Since the first man's arrest, another man had been arrested on an unrelated matter.

He was also found with a power company jacket that was not his.

It was thought both men had been in court but their statuses were not immediately clear.

The impersonated power company, and others, had been informed and were helpful, Callander said.

If people were suspicious about salespeople they should check identification closely, but also call police if they remained suspicious.

Callander would not reveal the name of the power company involved.

But an Island Bay resident visited by someone saying they were from Mercury Energy on Sunday and Monday this week, had been told by a neighbour that person was a likely fake.

A Mercury spokeswoman said it had not had representatives in Island Bay in more than a week. Its representatives only worked in residential areas between 2pm and 7.30pm.

''If a resident has any doubt they should ask the person to leave their property immediately and contact us or the police.''

Callander said it was possible the problem was more widespread than just the two people arrested. Police were happy to look into it if people complained.

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- The Dominion Post

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