Police: Man attempts to break into homes as Southwest Gas employee

Aug 13, 2015, 6:20 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2015, 4:57 pm

PHOENIX — Homeowners, beware: Police in Goodyear, Arizona are warning residents to be on the lookout for a fake Southwest Gas employee looking to gain access to homes in the area.

Police were called to the scene Tuesday morning around 9:30 a.m. after a homeowner reported a suspicious man who identified himself as a Southwest Gas employee trying to gain entrance to her home, according to Lisa Kutis with the Goodyear Police Department.

The fake employee, described as either a white or Hispanic male in his late-30’s, wearing a polo and blue jeans and carrying a clipboard, tried to gain access to the home after identifying himself as a contract employee for Southwest Gas. Kutis said the man was very determined to enter the home and even tried threatening the woman.

Sketch of man who is suspected of attempting to break into home dressed as Southwest Gas employee. (Photo: Goodyear Police Department)

Sketch of man who is suspected of attempting to break into home dressed as Southwest Gas employee. (Photo: Goodyear Police Department)

“He was very adamant about gaining entrance to the home and even went so far to threaten that her gas be turned off if she did not let him in,” she said.

Kutis said officials do not believe this incident was the man’s first; Goodyear Police have begun hearing about similar cases all around Arizona.

“We believe there is another case in Goodyear — also did not gain access to the house — but we’re starting to hear  of cases around the Valley that could be concerning,” she said, adding the investigation is ongoing. “This could be  a scam that is going state-wide.”

Kutis said any homeowner who is suspicious of their utility workers are encouraged to call the company or police and report the incident.

“No reputable representative of a company like Southwest Gas or the city is going to demand access to the home,” she said. “They’ll be invited in, they’ll have an appointment, and if you’re not sure that this is a legitimate person, certainly call the company, call the city or call police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Goodyear Police Department at 623-932-1220.

KTAR News’ John Roller contributed to this report. 

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Police: Man attempts to break into homes as Southwest Gas employee