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Thief steals safe, jewelry from 82-year-old Kingsville woman

Thief claimed to be working on public water line
Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 18:16:28-05

Harford County sheriff's investigators are trying to track down a thief who targeted an elderly woman last month and stole her jewelry right out of her home. 

The sheriff says the man got in and out in a matter of minutes claiming to be a public works employee. 

While Jerusalem Road stays busy, it's quiet in the Harford County neighborhood. 

So when residents like Joe Lewis heard about someone stealing from his neighbor -- he says it's scary. 

"I guess people have to be aware and trust that somebody's got credentials, I.D., or ignore them and so go away," Lewis said. 

Sheriff's detectives are looking for a thief who got one over on an 82-year-old woman and stole her jewelry and safe. 

"They target those they know they're most likely to be successful with and the elderly population is in that grouping," Sheriff Jeff Gahler said. 

He says the man knocked on her door in broad daylight claiming to be working on a public water line and needed access to her home. 

The sheriff says all of this happened relatively quickly the thief asked the woman to go into her basement to check her pipes and as she was doing that, he was upstairs stealing her safe in a matter of minutes.

"Public works, you know, BGE they're going to give you prior notice of some sort of written correspondence before they send people out," Gahler said. 

But it was too late for the woman who told investigators she was checking pipes for almost an hour. 

"He probably could have kept the scam going because when she came back upstairs, he had fled the house," Gahler said. 

Now the sheriff has warning for anyone gets a random knock or a random call. 

"If it doesn't feel right, it's probably not right. So, if you have that moment of doubt, it's easier to deny them access, hang up the phone, look up a number," Gahler said. 

Joe feels a little differently and says he isn't taking any chances. 

"Trust nobody unless you know them. It's the way it's got to be," he said. 
 
The sheriff's office is offering a cash reward if you have information about this case. Call Harford Crime Solvers at 1-888-540-8477. 

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