“There’s a person in my house, he pulled a gun on me. I’ve never seen this person before!”
911 calls like this aren’t uncommon, but the 37-year old homeowner who placed it experienced just how an ordinary interaction could be anything but.
“He rang the doorbell, he looked through my window and I’m like ‘Who is it?’ and he’s like ‘We had a gas leak in the neighborhood’ and he said that he was from the gas company,” the woman told the dispatcher.
The unidentified black man was wearing a bright green reflective vest when he came to the house posing as a utility worker. Armed with a handgun, he then forcefully gained entry into her upscale neighborhood home north of Detroit, the Michigan. The homeowner ran to her bedroom on the second floor and called 911.
The woman’s mother was also in the home and used a kitchen knife to defend herself and her daughter from the armed intruder. When confronted with the blade-weilding woman, the armed intruder fled the home and escaped.
This was the third reported incident of armed robbers posing as a utility worker since February, adding to other reports in nearby Eastpointe and Ecorse.
An actual representative for one Michigan gas company says this is part of a growing trend for criminals.
“This incident continues a trend of people claiming to be utility workers with the intent of gaining access to homes. Customers should not let unidentified personnel into their homes. Michigan law helps protect DTE Energy customers against scam artists by making it a felony to impersonate utility workers.”
The company urges it’s customers to (as all homeowners should) protect themselves by following these tips:
At the Door: Ask for identification. All DTE Electric and DTE Gas employees and contractors carry photo identification badges, and are required to display their badge if asked. If you are unsure about an employee’s identification, or want to verify the nature of the work to be done at your home, call DTE at 800-477-4747. Do not allow people into your home who:
- Claim to offer a DTE Electric or DTE Gas refund. Our employees never deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers’ homes.
- Claim to sell DTE Electric or DTE Gas products or services. DTE employees do not engage in door-to-door sales.
- Attempt to collect a bill payment. DTE does not collect or accept utility bill payments at customers’ homes or businesses.
While DTE encourages customers to call the police if you suspect any person at your door is posing as a utility worker, we encourage readers to carry for their protection.
This is yet another case proving no matter how many laws there are, criminals don’t care. Not only is breaking and entering and armed robbery illegal, in Michigan, it is also a felony to impersonate utility workers.