Pickerington Break-Ins Linked To Men Claiming To Be AEP Contractors
Police believe a recent break-in is connected to a scam artist claiming to be with electric company, American Electric Power (AEP).
Investigators say the suspect is targeting residents in the Sycamore Creek subdivision of Pickerington.
The so-called AEP "contractor" claimed the visits were a courtesy to trim back overgrown trees impeding power lines.
Resident Drew Jackson says he first became suspicious last week when a man who claimed to be with AEP rang doorbells and wanted access to homes on Brevard Court. The man said he needed to get into the homes and spend time in backyards to assess how to approach the trimming of branches near power lines.
Jackson says this Sycamore Creek neighborhood is fairly new and the trees are not mature enough for overgrowth. It turns out shortly after the man's visit last week, a home in the area burglarized.
Pickerington Police say the suspect got in through an unlocked back window.
Tawana Mims says all the commotion was very unusual for this area.
"I was very surprised to see the cop cars come through," said Mims.
Police remind residents to be vigilant, keep windows and doors locked, make sure you ask for credentials and be wary of whom you let into your home. 10TV also found out that AEP doesn't even provide service for this pocket of Pickerington.
"It's extremely terrible and rude and inconsiderate and I'm worried for the neighborhood," said Jackson.
In this case, police say the man claiming to be with AEP did not have photo identification with him, an AEP spokeswoman says employees always carry a photo ID.