Following a San Mateo burglary in which the suspect passed herself off as a city worker, police are cautioning the public to be aware of this common criminal technique.
The burglary follows a trend regularly seen, mostly recently in the East Bay, according to San Mateo police.
In this two-person method, one suspects contacts a resident at the front door or backyard and distracts the occupant while a second suspect enters the home to take valuables, according to police.
At about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, a woman used the technique in the 400 block of Alameda de las Pulgas. The woman reportedly knocked on the door and identified herself as a pest abatement worker for the city of San Mateo. The woman told the occupants there was an “outbreak of snakes” in the immediate vicinity and she needed to check the inside of the home. The victim let her inside and the woman asked everybody to exit so she could show them where the traps were to be set. The victim felt uneasy and escorted the suspect outside where she fled on foot. Nothing appeared stolen, according to police.
The female suspect is described as 30 years old, 5 feet 2 inches, 120 pounds and blonde. She has a nose piercing and wore a tan hat and uniform. Her race was unidentified, according to police.
Similar incidents have been reported in Fremont and Union City, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact San Mateo police at either of the following numbers: Investigations, 522-7650; the Secret Witness Line, 522-7676; or text anonymously 262-3473. Victims of similar scams are asked to call 522-7700.