Crime Alert: Beware of Thieves Masquerading as PG&E


The red phone in the Bernalwood newsroom went ring-a-ding-ding this morning as we received a high-priority crime alert from Capt. Tim Falvey from the San Francisco Police Ingleside Station:

Yesterday, there was a burglary/theft from a building on Nebraska at Cortland. A subject, posing as a PG&E employee, entered a home to “check the meter”. He let himself out when he was done and the resident’s laptop computer was missing. Per PG&E, the meters in the area of the theft digitally upload which eliminates the need for home visits. Please post this information on Bernalwood Blog and remind residents that if they are not expecting an employee from a utility company, don’t let them in without first calling the utility company to verify that an employee is in the area. Also, they don’t have to open the door, they can speak through the door. If someone tries to enter their home “checking meters” and leaves while the resident is calling PG&E, they should call the police.


Captain Tim Falvey


15 thoughts on “Crime Alert: Beware of Thieves Masquerading as PG&E

  1. Oh my…. I wonder if I saw these guys last night. Here is what I saw: I went outside to take in our trash cans on Folsom St. When I went out, I saw a man standing (in plain clothes) next to our neighbors house staring out into the street watching something. I followed his gaze and saw him watching a man that was wearing reflective gear similar to that of a PG&E uniform or water works or something walking on the street next to cars. When I stopped to watch what was happening, the man in plain clothes moved on. I proceeded to take in my trash and then watched these two men walk off. The man in the reflective gear walked back on to the sidewalk. It originally looked to me like he was checking for unlocked cars. He walked back onto the sidewalk and seemed to check something on my neighbors house. They briefly looked at each other and stopped to say something at the corner of Folsom and Eugenia. The plain clothes man walked west on Eugenia and the man in reflective gear walked down Folsom. I thought it was rather suspicious. The more I thought about it and then relayed the story to my husband, I decided to call the police. But, then minutes later the department of water works really was drilling on my street in front of another neighbors house and so I just assumed the two incidents were connected. I should have called the non-emergency line just in case. I didn’t get a good look at either of the men. Medium build in the plain clothes and slightly bulkier build for the guy in reflective gear. So sorry.

  2. From soup to absolutely nuts! Last month, our block- Folsom between Eugenia and Powhattan- determined that unauthorized persons had taken up residence in the home of a deceased neighbor’s empty house. Strangers shlepping groceries up the front steps and lights on behind blankets thrown over the windows prompted us to locate a relative who discovered that his key no longer worked. Clever scammers had changed the locks and rented the place out on craig’s list to supposedly unsuspecting tenants. They quickly vacated, without giving much of an explanation about why they pretended to be lost and searching for an address whenever someone glimpsed them on the street.

    Cut to last week. Came out to the curb to get into my car around 10 pm Thursday and an unknown white male, late twenties, early thirties, pulled up with his lights off, in a white or tan colored car covered with patches of Bondo and parked. I queried him about his business on the street- common practice for our block- and he was audibly miffed and uncommunicative. Thinking that maybe I was being misunderstood, I pulled alongside him, to try to start the conversation over, offering a polite explanation and citing recent events on the street. He quickly got into some seriously colorful language and drove off in a huff. Headlights still off. I called the police but I wasn’t fast enough to get the plate number. I shared the experience with neighbors so they could keep an eye out. Early Saturday morning, around 2:30 am, a neighbor’s son spotted two young men in a light colored car, parked close to the same spot as the previous sighting. He came right out and questioned them, they claimed to be lost, he offered assistance and said good night. After about half an hour, the neighbors came out again and they finally took off- this time we got the license plate number and reported it. We haven’t seen them again. Yet.

    I’ve been sick all week. This morning, I got a message from a friend to let me know she’d left homemade chicken soup upstairs on my front porch, a few hours after she’d made the drop. I checked my stoop. Soup-less. A first on a street where all of us borrow coffee, milk, eggs and take in each other’s Fedex and UPS packages and know where emergency keys are stashed– long since moved from their hiding spots after the squatter debacle last month. I can’t imagine that the stakeout was all about the missing matzoh balls,

  3. Captain Tim Falvey Commented on this at a recent Glen Park association meeting.

    Q: Are you aware of the people claiming to be from PG&E, going door to door?

    Falvey: There have been some young people going door-to-door in the evening 5 to 9 PM doing energy surveys for alternative energy companies. They were legitimate; the company has been informed that going door to door in the evening is not appropriate.

    Captain Falvey didn’t seem to be aware of the bogus PG&E guys in Glen Park. He was informed that the bogus PG&E guys do exist.

    His response: don’t open your door to a stranger but do let them know you are home. It’s common for burglars to go door to door to find out who’s not at home.

    He also suggested you can tell if the PG&E people are legitimate, if the PG&E truck is parked in front of your home.

  4. Also be aware a late twenties to mid thirties black woman, tallish, provocatively dressed, with straightened hair worn in a ponytail – rang my downstairs neighbors doorbell around 2p.m., but left in a hurry when my husband (home sick) peeked out the window. She left a piece of tape on the door as a calling card….

    • Karin, thanks very much for the info. Did you call it in? That description might help SFPD catch whoever is behind the blue tape (ie, whoever is presumably casing the street to see which homes are empty or which doors are unused). Thanks to you and your husband for being alert neighbors!

  5. @SER Called it in and alerted neighbors to spread the word…Also, it wasn’t the blue painters tape we’ve all heard about but a large piece if clear plastice tape (?)

  6. Pingback: PG&E Impersonator Steals « FOREST KNOLLS

  7. I live on Crescent near Leese and have had PG&E guys coming by during the day to check the meters. Our landlord warned us to not let anyone like that into the building, and to let him handle it. Turns out it actually was PG&E — they sent us a letter telling us we needed to let their workers into the building. I called them back and told them, as I told their employee multiple times, it’s not going to happen and they they need to talk to the building owner for access because we’ve had these types of security issues in the neighborhood. Hopefully PG&E will take note and train their employees to be more forthcoming with ID and more understanding.

  8. I’m down in St. Mary’s Park and just had something possibly related happen… dude was asking to see my PG&E bill. I wrote it up on … was hoping if any of you could shed some light on the matter? Seems fishy enough that I told him no, but I just couldn’t figure out that scam. However, my rule is always: if I didn’t contact you first, then I am not giving you any information.

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