Robbers Posed as Utility Workers in Luzerne County

JENKINS TOWNSHIP -- Jenkins Township Police released video of three men believed to be responsible for invading an elderly woman's home while pretending to be utility workers and stealing from her.

"It's horrible. It's totally disgusting, you know? I don't know how anybody could abuse an animal, let alone an older person. You know what I mean? It's terrible," said Keith Leschinsky.

Police tell Newswatch 16 an elderly woman answered her door in the Port Griffith section of Jenkins Township and found a man who claimed to work for an electric company and needed access to her electrical panel in the basement. After the woman let him into her home, he called other man using a foreign language.

While he detained the woman in her basement with threats, the others burglarized the home.

Neighbors say this makes them anxious for their elderly friends and family.

"They feel that these people who come to the door are doing them a favor. You gotta be more careful. That's all that's to it," said Ron Tokach of Pittston Township.

"She probably was just a victim and said 'Yes, come on in and I'll show you around, you know, let you do what you have to do here,' but it's a shame it really is," added Carol Tokach.

A video was taken by a surveillance camera at a home across the street. The footage shows the three invaders leaving the home.

Jenkins Township Police tell Newswatch 16 these types of crimes are targeted toward elderly residents and remind everybody to check the identification of somebody trying to enter your home.

The Tokach's said they were once suspicious of workers in their yard so they picked up the phone.

"We called the electric company and they said yes, they were there in the neighborhood. So you can definitely call no matter what hour of the day and they'll tell you if they are working there," said Carol Tokach.

Police also released video showing a vehicle of interest in the case. It appears to be a newer model Jeep Grand Cherokee with chrome around the windows and a New York license plate.

Vehicle of interest in Jenkins Township home invasion on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

If you have any information about the incident or recognize the men in the video or the vehicle, you are asked to contact Jenkins Township Police at 570-654-1281 or call 911 .

Newswatch 16 also reached out to PPL who said they do not send their employees door-to-door and that residents will be properly notified before an employee or contractor is sent to service their home. If you are unsure about workers in your area, you can call PPL  to confirm work is taking place in your neighborhood.


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