Warning about door-knocking scheme in Cranston


CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Police are warning residents about a possible door-knocking scheme.

A woman who lives on Fiat Avenue in Cranston called police after a man who claimed to be a utility worker showed up at her door.

Lieutenant Justin Dutra says this is a common scheme that’s been happening for years. “They’ll identify themselves as someone from the water company or the electrical company.”

The suspects do it in attempt to get into your home and commit a crime.

Lt. Dutra spoke with Eyewitness News about a particular incident that happened in the city last week.

“[The suspect] knocked on the door, told the elderly, female victim that he needed to get into the house as they were shutting off power in the area, and they were going to be supplying residents in the area generators. “

The suspect pretended to be a utility company worker and talked his way into the home, and tried to talk the woman into her basement.

Police believe he was trying to distract her so a possible second suspect could get in.

“Go through the home, through the upstairs, and steal any valuables.” says Lt. Dutra about their intentions.

The victim doesn’t believe anything was taken, but she described the suspect as a middle-aged white man, approximately 5’4” to 5’6”, with a thin build.

The woman also notes the suspect was missing a front tooth and his face was covered in heavy scarring from old acne, and went by the name “Tom Anthony.”

While police hope to solve this case, they also hope to prevent others.

Lt. Dutra suggests “Don’t have any communication with them. Call us and we will come out and identify them.”

Police hope this case doesn’t prompt any others, but unfortunately with schemes like this, it doesn’t normally happen just once.

If a suspicious person shows up to your door, you’re asked to call police right away.

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