Elderly people robbed by fake utility workers

There's another warning about robbers posing as utility workers and then ripping off elderly people. (WABC)

January 12, 2012 6:16:21 AM PST
There's another warning about robbers posing as utility workers and then ripping off elderly people.

It's happened again, this time in Brooklyn, and this time cops have surveillance video of the suspects.

The 89-year-old victim, Ruth, was afraid to open her door and afraid to leave her house.

It's easy to understand why, after two heartless thieves stole her precious memories.

"The sorrow is killing me. They took everything, cleaned out two drawers," Ruth said.

After 72 peaceful years in her Brooklyn home, Ruth was robbed last Friday.

Police say two people, a man and a woman, posed as Con Edison workers in order to get inside her home in the Ocean Parkway section.

"I can't believe this is happening to me in my old age," Ruth said.

The thieves got away with almost all of the jewelry Ruth's late husband gave her and $1,000 in cash that she'd planned to use to pay her heating oil bill.

"My bedroom was a shambles my mattress was upside down, he even took a pillowcase and filled it up with my jewelry and everything," Ruth said.

Ruth says the woman had official-looking binders and insisted that Ruth, who is blind in one eye and uses a cane, walk her to the back of the house to the utility pole.

"She said, 'Well I can't go there unless you come with me,'" Ruth said.

As Ruth struggled to walk down the narrow path to the backyard, the man posing as the utility worker ransacked her bedroom.

Police say the shameful pair played the same dirty trick on a 90-year-old woman Tuesday, stealing jewelry that had been in the family since they emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s.

"My mother and father worked hard all their lives and these characters come in and try to take stuff that they worked hard for all their life, you can't do that, it's low class," said Joe Rushford, the victim's son.

The suspects were caught on surveillance cameras going into the second victim's house on 59th Street.

The male suspect, seen wearing an orange construction vest, is white, about 6 feet tall, has blue eyes and light brown hair.

The female suspect is white, 5-foot-5, about 140 pounds with dark brown hair and chipped, brown teeth. Police say she is pigeon-toed and walks with a distinctive limp.

Police are warning the elderly about the scam and urge individuals not to open the door without seeing proper identification.

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