Two men posing as utility workers scammed an elderly couple Wednesday afternoon and made off with tens of thousands of dollars in valuables, police said.
"Over $75,000 worth of valuables taken," Providence police Capt. Michael Correia said.
The two men said they were from the water company, and talked their way into the home. The elderly couple didn't ask for identification. The criminals are still out there. Police are asking the public to be vigilant.
"I'd venture to say that if a couple of qualifying questions were asked as to proof of employment, what have you, I think a crime like this probably would have been prevented," Correia said.
In addition to taking jewelry and other valuables, the two men stole a sense of security from people living on Lorraine Avenue on the East Side of Providence.
"It was scary. We live on a very, very quiet street where nothing happens and we all look out for each other," said Paige Macgratten.
Macgratten lives next door to the elderly couple. She said the scam makes her think differently about answering her own front door.
"I'm a trusting person. I probably would have done the same thing, let them in," Macgratten said.
Correia said these criminals usually prey on the elderly, who are more likely to be trusting.
"I think these two guys were quick thinking on their feet and savvy enough and talked their way into their house," Correia said.
Correia said it's likely the two men could strike again.