Police warn residents of scam involving thief posing as water utility worker

Madison police squad car

MADISON, Wis. — Police are warning residents to be aware of an ongoing scam involving individuals who have gained access to homes by telling people they work for the Madison Water Utility.

On Saturday, a man who falsely claimed he works for the Madison Water Utility told a Meredithe Avenue couple that he and his crew were working somewhere near the victims’ home and that he needed to check the couple’s water to see if it contained green dye, according to an incident report. The man reportedly checked the tap water in the kitchen before asking if he could check the water in the basement.

As the couple walked the man downstairs, the criminal communicated with someone over a walkie-talkie, police said. According to the report, the victims and the man were in the basement for several minutes.

The couple later discovered multiple items, including money, had been stolen from their bedroom. The victims described the man who came into their home as possibly Hispanic with a dark complexion. The victims said he was roughly 25-30 years old and had a slender build. He was also carrying a small walkie-talkie and wearing a yellow or green construction-style vest over a t-shirt. According to the report, the victims also noticed a red SUV in the area, but they did not see the man get in it.

Police said anyone who works for the Madison Water Utility would have an official ID available. They would also be wearing jackets and shirts with “Madison Water Utility” written on them.