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Geneva flush with phoney plumbers: police

Malcolm Curtis · 7 Feb 2013, 10:36

Published: 07 Feb 2013 10:36 GMT+01:00

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Crooks, posing as plumbers and other kinds of workers sent by property management firms to do maintenance work, are preying on unsuspecting residents, police said.

“In the past two weeks judicial police have recorded a fresh outbreak of thefts through deception,” the force said in a release issued on Wednesday.

Victims of thefts reported visits by laborers, heating experts and plumbers who turned out to be false.

Six cases have been reported in the past four days, with as many as 40 in the past year, Philippe Cosandey, cantonal police spokesman told the ATS news agency.

“Generally, they were sent by the rental management company to do various maintenance jobs,” according to the police statement.

“These culprits, usually dressed (in workers’ outfits) to avoid suspicion, work alone or in pairs,” police said, adding that the elderly were the most frequently targeted.

When they arrive at an apartment (the thieves) use various strategies to distract the attention of the victims while they steal jewellery and other items of value, the police statement said.

After seizing valuables they take their leave with a “thank you,” the statement said.

To avoid such misadventures, Geneva police said you should never let unknown people into your residence.

They also suggested changing daily habits and contacting police on the 117 number if you have the slightest suspicion about activities of unknown people in your building.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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