A Drake Road woman was victimized by a scam in which someone posing as a utility worker -- and his unseen partner -- got inside her house Jan. 29.
A report said the woman was working in her yard about 4:40 p.m. when a silver and black pickup truck pulled up.
The driver said he was with the gas company and had to check her gas line in the basement.
She accompanied him into the basement, where he turned off her hot water heater and left in a hurry.
The woman didn't see anyone else, but when she checked her bedroom later, she found dresser drawers open. An earring and a gold watch that was on the dresser were missing.
It's a variation on a scam that has made the rounds in the area for years. A man dressed in work clothes approaches a resident, claiming to be with the water department, the city building department, another utility or a roofing company, and says there's a problem.
While he shows the resident what's wrong, an accomplice slips into the house and steals whatever is in easy reach.
Often, residents working in yards are targeted because the thieves know a door has been left open. Sometimes, the con artist won't go in the house, but will take the resident into the back yard to point out a problem with a tree, some wires or the roof.
Other times, if the resident is inside and agrees to let the alleged worker inside, the accomplice comes in through the door his partner has just entered.