DELTONA, Fla. – An 84-year-old Deltona resident was distracted by a fake water department employee while another person stole items from a safe in his home, Volusia sheriff's officials said.
The burglary occurred around 12:30 p.m. Saturday and was reported to authorities this week.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said the incident may be related to a similar burglary at the home of a 90-year-old victim in DeBary.
The Deltona victim told deputies he was at his home, on Dixie Belle Avenue, when a man claiming to be a Deltona Water employee told him he was investigating a water line break, officials said.
The fake worker entered the home via the garage and told the victim to run his kitchen faucet for several minutes, which he did, deputies said. The fake worker walked into the man's living room and peered out the window while talking to the victim and left after about 10 minutes, according to deputies.
The victim later discovered a bedroom safe had been pried open and burglarized, deputies said. He believes a second person entered his home while he was being distracted, according to officials.
"We encourage all residents to be very skeptical of strangers who show up unexpectedly and use pressure and scare tactics to gain access to their home," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release. "If someone approaches and claims to represent a city utility or the power company, residents are advised not to let the person in and instead call the company to find out if they are legitimate."
"Please, watch out for your neighbors," Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. "If you see something suspicious, speak up. Let’s help protect vulnerable people from becoming victims of these low-life criminals."
Suspicious activity can be reported to the Sheriff's Office by calling 911 in an emergency or at the nonemergency line at 386-248-1777.
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