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Alert issued in Lake County after women ask for water samples

Residents urged to report incidents to police

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A warning has been issued in the Lake County area after a resident said two women came to her home and asking to collect water samples.

Doorbell video recorded Wednesday morning shows two women knocking on the door of Kimberly Stearns' Winogene Avenue home. 

"There's currently a boil water notice in your area, have you received it?" one of the women asks.

Stearns tells the women she isn't aware of any alerts.

"That's not a problem. I'm just here to grab a sample of your water," the woman says, holding a container.

When the Stearns declines to provide a sample, both women walk away. The homeowner reported the incident to authorities.

"That was my major concern, was making sure that everybody in the community was aware," Stearns said.

 

It's unclear how many homeowners in Eustis and Umatilla have experienced similar encounters.

A city of Umatilla spokeswoman said five other residents reported people coming to the door falsely claiming that there had been a water main break on Wednesday.

An officer found the women and they claimed they worked for a company that sells water softening systems. The women were told they need a solicitation permit and since then, there have been no further reports connected to them.

Officials from the city of Eustis said standard procedure is to leave a door hanger explaining the issue, date and time and the water department's number if there ever is a boil water notice or another problem.

A Eustis Police Department spokesperson said officers received three reports Wednesday of a man and woman saying they worked for the city and needed a water sample.

The two people were not let inside any of the homes. Officers never made contact with the pair but confirmed that they were not the same people seen in Stearns' video.

On Wednesday, the city put out an alert on its Facebook page warning users to always ask to see an ID badge if someone claims to work for the city, and if they don't have one, to notify authorities.

The Eustis Police Department can be contacted at 352-357-4121, and the Umatilla Police Department can be called at 352-669-3561.


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