Crime & Courts

March 27, 2013

Scammers victimize elderly woman in west Wichita

An elderly woman was victimized by scammers posing as KG&E repairmen Tuesday, police said.

An elderly woman was victimized by scammers posing as KG&E repairmen Tuesday, police said.

The men came to the 85-year-old woman’s house in the 100 block of North Baehr shortly after 2 p.m. and told her there was an electrical problem in her house, Lt. Joe Schroeder said. They went up into the attic and returned a short time later carrying some wiring they said was faulty.

They went outside, returned with other wiring and went back up into the attic. When they came down, they told the woman she owed several thousand dollars for the work, Schroeder said.

She wrote them a check and they left. When she told family members about it a short time later, they immediately tried to halt payment on the check – only to learn it had already been cashed.

The ruse was similar to an incident in Derby on Tuesday morning.

Derby police reported that two men identifying themselves as Westar employees approached a resident and told him they needed to check the house for hot spots.

The homeowner invited one man into the house to check the electricity, while the other man accessed the attic via the garage. The man inside the house flipped light switches off and on in several rooms then faked being shocked after he touched a breaker box.

The other man told the homeowner he found a chewed cable.

Police say the men drove away in a newer-model gray or black extended-cab truck after the homeowner called an electrician.

Anyone who knows the men’s identities is encouraged to call the Derby Police Department at 316-788-1557.

Police advise residents to confirm the identifies of utility workers asking to enter their homes. Schroeder said they can also call the utility company to confirm the identity of the workers.

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