Police are warning Silver Lake residents to watch out for criminals posing as DWP workers after two homes were recently ransacked as the elderly Asian victims were distracted. In the first case on July 21, a trio of suspects posing as DWP workers approached a resident in the 600 block of N. La Fayette Park Place and said they needed to enter the home to check power lines. The trio fled after one of the suspects removed a wristwatch found in a bedroom cabinet, said Mario Mota, robbery detective supervisor with the Rampart Division. The second incident took place on July 25 in the 900 block of Micheltorena Street where two suspects ransacked a house as one of the residents was sleeping while her husband was in the backyard mowing the lawn. The suspects made off with a pearl necklace, cash and small statues, Mota said.
The suspects are believed to be part of transient or “gypsy” burglars who travel through an area, Mota said. He added by email:
When they hit, there are usually 3-5 sometimes even more suspects in the area. They are organized, 2-3 people approach the house while others in the neighborhood are lookouts. They communicate via walkie-talkies or cellphones …”
DWP repair crews only work on the outside of a home, said Mota. Residents should always ask to see an identification card and call the utility to verify the information.