Sunday, January 26, 2014

CON-ED: "Utility Workers" Raise Residents' Suspicions

We don’t usually dip into burglaries at CWB. Our focus has been and will always be on our neighborhoods’ growing violent street crime problem. However, we wanted to let you know that this popular scheme has found its way to our neighborhood:

Multiple residents reported a suspicious man going door-to-door in Wrigleyville between 5:00 and 5:40 Friday evening. The individual, who claimed to represent “a utility,” was reported in the 3800 block of Clark as well as the 800 block of Waveland. Officers were unsuccessful in finding the man in either location.  

One witness described him as a black man with dreadlocks and a black du-rag. Another said the man was male, black, dark complected, wearing dark pants and a dark hoodie with a white lining.

Around 4PM on Saturday, a resident in the 600 block of Wellington reported a pair of suspicious men came to their door and claimed to work for Com Ed. The men said they needed to check the resident’s bill and his computer. (You know, the usual things Com Ed does at 4PM on Saturday afternoon.)

One man was black, wearing a black coat, and carrying a clipboard. The other man is simply described as Hispanic. Again, officers did not find anyone when they searched the area.

This map plots burglaries reported in our neighborhood so
far this month. Red indicates "unlawful entry," which means
no force was used to gain access.
Needless to say, it’s hard enough to get a utility to show up when you need them. The odds are they won’t just come a-callin’ some random evening. 

Here are a few of the burglaries that have been reported this week. This list is not all-inclusive and CWB is not aware of any established connection between these incidents or with the suspicious “utility”  workers:
• Tuesday, January 21:  A gray stone in the 2900 block of N. Halsted was accessed by kicking in the front door.
• Thursday, January 23: A gray stone in the 3800 block of N. Wilton.
• Friday, January 24: 600 block of W. Roscoe. The owner believes a burglar who has a key entered his home while he was out of town.
• Saturday, January 25:  3000 block of N. Waterloo. Entry was made through the front door while a family was out of town, possibly on Wednesday.
Interactive map of all 2013 burglaries in our neighborhood (via Chicago Spectrum)
Com Ed credit card scam story (NBC Chicago)
Image: NBC Chicago


  1. Hopefully nobody is stupid enough to fall for this. why would com-ed want to look at your computer? Cmon!

  2. People are really stupid. This con, however unsuccessful overall, would be successful a few times, at least.

  3. Last October, a woman came to our door around 7 PM requesting the same info. She asked to see our ComEd bill, claiming to be with some alternative utility service. I told her we don't receive a paper bill, and weren't interested anyway. She said "Oh, that's ok. Your upstairs neighbor just beamed it up on his computer, so you can just do that, too." When I told her that was ridiculous and there was no way I would share that information with her, a stranger, she looked at me like I was crazy!

    1. I haven't lived outside an apartment with a doorman for years, but I swear if I lived in a house I would be so freaked out to ever answer my door. I don't think I would. What has become of our world? May I ask where you live? And your Social Security number, please! Ha Ha!

    2. You people are smart but they know their market. 50% of the Lakeview residents that were approached by these "criminals" opened up their doors and bought some weed or coke because a) you don't have a car or gun OR b) you're too afraid to go south of Roosevelt on the Red Line to buy them.

  4. "Utility workers" usually make residential calls dressed in orange traffic safety vests, right?