Piedmont Woman Victim of 'Backyard' Burglary Scam

One burglar posed as a construction worker needing access to the victim's backyard while a second man stole items from inside the home.

Piedmont Police Department insignia on a patrol vehicle. Photo credit: Amy Jeffries.
Piedmont Police Department insignia on a patrol vehicle. Photo credit: Amy Jeffries.
Burglars posing as construction workers stole cash and a jewelry box from a Piedmont home last Friday in a variation of a scam that's been used in other East Bay cities, a Piedmont Police Department spokesperson said.

A man came to the door of a Magnolia Avenue home about 5:55 p.m. on Dec. 7 and told the woman who lived there that he was a contractor working on a neighbor's water line, Capt. Scott Wyatt said.

The man said that as part of the work, he needed to check water lines in the victim's backyard, he said. 

The man showed the victim a flyer from the contracting business as identification, Wyatt said.

As the man and the local resident returned from the backyard a few minutes later, the woman saw a second man coming out her front door, he said. 

Both men and a female companion fled down Magnolia toward Grand Avenue in a white four-door pickup truck, Wyatt said.

The victim, meanwhile, found a drawer open inside her home and quickly discovered that a wooden jewelry box and $7 in cash were missing, he said.

Police later found the jewelry box discarded on the sidewalk in front of the woman's home Wyatt said.

He said the business flyer provided by the burglars proved to be fake, with none of the listed phone numbers in working order.

The burglar who came to the home's front door was described as a white male about 35 years old wearing a dark hat or cap with a while brim and a dark jacket. The man seen leaving through the front door was described as a white male adult, and their companion as a white female adult wearing a pink jacket.

Similar scams, with one person luring a resident into their own backyard while a second person burglarized the home, have been reported in several East Bay communities in recent months. Burglars have posed as construction or utility workers.

Wyatt said if local residents are unsure about the credentials of someone requesting access to their home or backyard, they should call Piedmont police. Officers will be happy to check the identity of those involved, he said.

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