Brazen burglaries in East, South Bay have police on the hunt for thieves

Story by colleague Katie Nelson:

FREMONT — Knock, knock …

So the joke begins, but the punch line has left few East Bay and Peninsula residents laughing after their homes were brazenly burglarized in a bizarre string of thefts over the past week and a half.

Dressed to resemble city or PG&E workers, pairs of men and women have targeted elderly residents in Hayward, Fremont, Union City, Oakland, San Carlos and most recently San Mateo, stealing thousands of dollars in cash and other valuables. The catch, and the primary concern for police, is that residents are still home when the crimes occur, yet they are completely unaware of what is going on before it is too late.

In Fremont, Union City, Hayward and San Mateo, elderly residents have answered their doors to either a man or a woman claiming to be with Animal Control who said they needed to check the property for poisonous snakes or they needed to trim a neighbor’s tree. While one of the suspects distracts the residents by taking them into the backyard, a second person burglarizes the home.

Only in the San Mateo case did the resident become suspicious of the suspect and ask her to leave before the home was burglarized.

To see the suspect sketch, click here.

Chris DeBenedetti