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La Mirada Crime Summary Nov. 4 – Nov. 10, 2013

Scammers posing as utility company workers targeting residents
The La Mirada Public Safety Team is reminding residents to be aware of various scams targeting utility customers. Recent incidents include scams that demand immediate payment for allegedly past due electricity bills or false requests to leave your residence for a utility-related cause to commit burglary.

In a recent incident on Nov. 10, two males knocked on the door of a house in La Mirada. Refusing to show identification or work orders, the imposters claimed they were from Southern California Edison (SCE) and instructed the residents to vacate the home immediately due to downed power lines affecting their property.

Confused, the residents eventually complied and moved to the backyard. Only after growing suspicious did the residents call 911. The burglars fled the scene before Sheriff’s Deputies could arrive. Fortunately, no property was taken.

Residents should always ask for identification when a stranger comes to the door or calls claiming to be a utility worker. SCE utility workers particularly will provide verification, including their department and phone number, when asked.

In most cases, home visits by SCE are scheduled by the customer and SCE will confirm the appointment in writing. If there are any concerns, SCE and law enforcement officials suggest having the utility worker wait outside until their identity can be verified.

Other forms of fraud involve imposters calling utility customers insisting they make an immediate payment on past due bills or have their service disconnected. Scammers may also demand that payment be made through a prepaid cash card.

SCE customers have reported about 800 instances of phone scams this year. About 150 residential and commercial customers have been victimized by some form of bill scam with the incidents costing them an average of $800 to $1,000.

Utility customers should note that:
Utility companies never ask for money in person.
Never reveal your credit card, ATM or calling card numbers (or PIN numbers) to anyone.
If someone calls and requests you leave your residence at a specific time for a utility-related cause, call the police. This could be a burglary attempt set up by the caller.
Be suspicious of anyone who arrives at your house without an appointment asking to check an appliance, wiring or suggesting that there may be some other electrical problem inside or outside your residence.
For more ways customers can stay safe, please see SCE.com/FAQ and read the safety tips section.

Aggravated Assault
An assault occurred on the 15000 block of Imperial Hwy. Three suspects were taken into custody after a physical altercation erupted with a male victim in the parking lot of a local business. The suspects had fled the scene, but were eventually apprehended. The investigation is on going.

Residential Burglary
A burglary was reported on the 15100 block of Cheshire St. It remains unknown if any property was taken.
An incident occurred on the 14300 block of Elmrock Ave. Jewelry and a laptop computer were stolen from the home.

Vehicle Burglary
A burglary was reported on the 14900 block of Gagely Ave. Various items were taken.
A window smash burglary was reported on the 15200 block of Santa Gertrudes Ave. A bag containing cosmetics and an e-book were stolen.

Grand Theft
Fuel was reported stolen from three tractors on the 15100 block of Northam St.
A laptop computer was reported stolen from an unsecured office on the 13800 block of Biola Ave.
A cast iron grate was stolen from a driveway on the 15100 block of Phoebe Ave.

Grand Theft Vehicle
An older model Chevy pick-up was stolen from the 14100 block of Imperial Hwy.
A vehicle was reported stolen from the 15000 block of Alondra Blvd. It was recovered by the owner near the 15000 block of Rosecrans Ave.
An older model Toyota Camry was stolen on the 15200 block of Rosecrans Ave. The vehicle was recovered several days later in fair condition by the Orange Police Dept.
A vehicle was stolen from the 13700 block of Avenida Santa Tecla. The vehicle was later recovered by the Anaheim Police Dept. and a suspect taken into custody.
A motorcycle was reported stolen from the 15300 block of Santa Gertrudes Ave.
An attempted vehicle theft was reported on the 13900 block of Valley View Ave.

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