Police: Distraction burglars stole from elderly New Freedom couple

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Burglary logo. Photo courtesy of SafeLocalTrades.com

Southern Regional Police are warning residents not to fall for claims by distraction burglars that they are from a utility company.

The scam happened to an elderly couple who live in a home on Singer Road in New Freedom the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 6, police said.

A man came to their front door about 3 p.m. and claimed to be from "the electric company," saying he had to check their light switches, according to Detective Daniel Teague.

A second man was with him, and both spoke Spanish, police said.

One had a police-style badge, a two-way radio and a photo identification card that Teague said resembled a driver's license.

He kept the couple distracted by turning light switches in their home on and off, while the second man slipped in and stole the couple's money, the detective said.

Police said residents should thoroughly check out any stranger who shows up at their homes.

Utility workers should be in uniform, have proper identification and be driving a company vehicle.

Residents should always ask to see identification and a borough permit when anyone comes to their door, Teague said, adding that anyone soliciting door-to-door in New Freedom must first obtain a permit from the borough.

People shouldn't let unidentified "workers" pressure their way inside, he said.

Residents can call 911 and ask for an officer to respond, Teague said. Officers will check the identification of the person or people trying to gain access to the home, he said.

Sometimes distraction burglars will try to lure residents outside of their homes with various stories so accomplices can sneak inside and steal valuables.

Anyone with information on the New Freedom incident, or any distraction burglaries, is asked to call Southern Regional Police at 717-235-3944.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.