Utility company imposter robs elderly woman inside home

by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:

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LINCOLNTON, N.C. - Local police have a warning for the elderly after they say a man robbed a 90-year-old woman in her Lincolnton home after posing as a utility worker.
 
Edna Leonard is still shaken up after she said the man tricked her into letting him inside.
Leonard said she didn't see it coming. A man showed up at her door Tuesday claiming he was working on power lines and needed to check to see if her power was out.

"I thought he was telling the truth, you know?" Leonard said. "I had the television on, I should've known. Well, I got electricity but he just came on in."
 
The man walked into her home, she followed him with her walker and oxygen tank and found him in her room going through her jewelry box.

"He had the box in his hand and he pressed it against and pushed me out the way so he could get through the door," she said.
 
He left and Leonard in shock.
 
Leonard's daughter said she can't believe someone would target someone so helpless.

"It's a wonder she hadn't had a heart attack," her daughter said. "I feel lucky that it could have been worse you know? He could've knocked her in the head or done other things to her."
 
 The sheriff said Leonard isn't the only victim.
 
A very similar case happened a couple weeks ago in Gaston County.
 
"He actually must be watching or seeing out where the elderly folks live and either casing the neighborhoods or something like that,” said Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter.
 
Carpenter wants everyone, especially the elderly, to be on the lookout.

"It burns us up in the law enforcement field for anybody to take advantage of any victim, especially our older folks,” the sheriff said.
The suspect is a middle-aged white man 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall and was clean-shaven with short hair.
 
He was last seen wearing a faded gray or green ball cap and an old traffic vest with stripes down the front.
 
He left Leonard’s home in a red full-size pickup with chrome on the bottom and black plastic in the bed of the truck. 
 
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.