Not everyone is who they appear to be. That’s never been truer than in two recent home burglaries in the Tri-Cities.
In the past week, criminals posing as city employees have burglarized homes in Fremont and Union City.
According to the Fremont Police Department, a victim on Moore Drive reported that on Saturday at around 5 p.m., a woman claiming to be an Animal Services worker came to her home and said she was looking for a poisonous snake that had bitten a young girl on the street.
The suspect said she needed to take measurements of the home and yard and advised everyone in the house to go into the backyard. While the residents were outside, an unknown accomplice entered the home and stole jewelry and cash.
The victim didn’t realize that the home was burglarized until Sunday, police said.
The female suspect was described as white or Hispanic and about 5-feet tall with a medium to heavy build. She was wearing a hat, dark colored gloves and a tan or brown short-sleeved button down shirt with patches on the sleeves. She also had a tongue piercing with a ball on it, according to police.
She was traveling with a male who posed as her supervisor. A detailed description of the male was not available.
Police believe the burglary to be connected to similar incidents in Fremont’s Niles district earlier on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, neighbors on Hillview Drive and Montecito Drive reported two suspicious females going door-to-door in the neighborhood. The two females told residents a similar story. They claimed to be Animal Services workers investigating loose rattlesnakes and pythons in the area and that they needed to measure yards for traps.
One of the suspects was described similarly to the woman involved in the Moore Drive burglary and was also wearing a tan and brown short-sleeved button down shirt with a generic embroidered patch that read “Animal Control.” She was also carrying a clipboard with drawings of snakes on it, according to police.
In another possibly linked incident in Niles, a suspicious woman who was seen going door-to-door asked a homeowner if her car was for sale. The woman said she was a single mom in a bad relationship. When the woman was told that the car wasn’t for sale, she left in a silver or grey Land Rover with a magnetic sign on the back.
A similar vehicle was seen in the area during the Moore Drive burglary, police said.
Saturday’s burglary and suspicious snake stories were similar to a home burglary in Union City last week.
On Wednesday, a woman claiming to be a city employee knocked on the door of a home on Deborah Drive in Union City and told the resident that she was there to check for a snake infestation. The woman wore a dark blue hat with the word “CITY” on it and what appeared to be a uniform — a dark green shirt with the “CITY” logo on the left chest area and dark green pants.
While the impersonator distracted the victim, an unknown accomplice entered the home and stole jewelry and cash.
The female suspect was described as a white or Hispanic woman with blonde hair, which may have been dyed or a wig.
Both Fremont and Union City police are asking residents to be vigilant.
Neither Fremont nor Union City employees are investigating snake infestations or snake-related issues in their cities.
Additionally, city employees are required to carry city-issued photo identification cards. Fremont police added that most field employees drive vehicles clearly marked with the City of Fremont logo.
Police advise residents to ask anyone claiming to be a city employee to present their city-issued ID card. If the person claiming to be an employee does not have a city-issued ID card or you question their legitimacy, contact the Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800.
The Fremont Police Department is also urging residents to inform their neighbors, especially the elderly, about this type of scam.
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact Fremont Police at 510-790-6900. Anonymous tips may also be left at www.fremontpolice.org/tip or by texting TIP FREMONTPD to 888777 with your message.