GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A homeowner says someone posing as a Town of Gilbert employee came to her house trying to shut off her water, but after he saw her children playing inside, he changed his mind and left.
"He said, 'I won’t do it because of all the kids that are here,'" said 8-year-old Bentley Lloyd, who witnessed the encounter.
Briana Jensen said her son was playing outside with the neighbors when they came in and said a man was there to fix something.
"The gentleman approached the door and he said, he kind of peaked in and he goes, 'hello I’m here to turn off your water.' And I said, 'for what reason?' And he said, 'for lack of payment,'" Jensen explained.
Jensen said she didn't think anything of it initially.
"He was very kind, he was not aggressive, I had no reason to believe he wasn’t who he said he was. He was in a yellow vest, very kind, very professional, very well-spoken," she said.
Once he peaked inside her house and saw the kids playing, however, he said he would leave and mark her as an "irate customer."
After he left, she called the Town of Gilbert to straighten out what she thought was a mistake on her bill.
"She says, 'well you’re current, your bill’s not due until November 5th,'" she explained.
The customer service representative told her she was going to look further into the situation and call her back. About 45 minutes later, a supervisor called Jensen and told her to call police because it was not one of their employees.
"He goes, 'that was not us.' He goes, 'A) we only show up in blue polos, was he in a blue polo?' I said, 'no he was not.' He said, 'also if we’re going to disconnect services we do not knock on the door and ask for permission because with water we can turn it off at the curb," Jensen said.
The supervisor also told her they did not have an employee matching her description.
Gilbert Police said they received a report both from Jensen and from the head of the town water department. Officers searched the area but they did not locate the suspect.
Jensen said she's felt uneasy ever since the encounter, knowing it could have ended an entirely different way.
"For the first time ever living in Gilbert for 5 years, I was legitimately afraid."
The Town of Gilbert released a statement on the incident:
“Safety of our residents is our top priority. It is extremely rare for a Gilbert Utility employee to show up at a customer’s home without an appointment. If someone comes to your door claiming to be with the Town of Gilbert and you are not expecting them, please ask for identification and/or contact Gilbert’s customer service at 480-503-6800. If you suspect a person is posing as a Town of Gilbert employee, please contact 911.”