Watch Out For Fake Meter Readers

By: Kendra Potter
By: Kendra Potter

Police are asking for you to keep an eye out for burglars pretending to be meter readers after they broke into numerous houses on the south side of Pueblo.

The idea of burglars dressing up to play the part of meter readers is worrying homeowners.

And it’s a big concern for those who actually wear the uniform.

"We worry about the safety and security of our customers,” said Dave Atwood, Director of Operations for Black Hills Energy.

Pueblo police tell 11 News that burglars broke into at least five homes near the 1600 block of Van Buren, near Northern Ave.

Two burglarized victims in that neighborhood remember seeing three men wearing bright orange vests. They told police they were going in and out of backyards pretending to read the meters. But instead, the homeowners think they were looking for their next house to target.

That’s because when challenged, the suspects either walked away without saying a word, or got into a car and sped off. Police tell 11 News that one of the homeowners actually followed the unmarked car to get a license plate, but the suspects made sure to lose the tail.

Brandon Scott Bussey is one of those men. He was arrested and admitted to four of the crimes. But the other two are still on the loose.

Witnesses described them to police as thin, medium height men in their mid 30s to early 40s. One had a thick mustache. Both were white males with darker hair, possibly brown.

Officials say you should keep a watchful eye to protect your home.

"Somebody that's nosing around your property that's not looking at electrical equipment, the meter, the transformer box, power poles,” said Atwood.

Black Hills Energy meter readers say they if they require access to a home or business they will knock on the door, identify themselves, and clearly state their business.

Officials say that most of the meter reading is now done from a distance. But they still send field technicians to neighborhoods for various reasons.

But they will be easy to identify. They have logos on their uniforms, marked cars, and also had a photo ID with them.

Sometimes they wear those bright orange or green vests, and could work at any time of the day.

So when in doubt, ask for identification. They will provide with you with their photo ID and provide contact information for their supervisor.

If they still seem suspicious you can call Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554.

11 News also spoke with water and gas meter readers who say they will always have identification.

If they don’t’ provide the ID or supervisor’s number, call police.

The Pueblo Board of Water Works says they typically wear a bright blue safety vests with neon green or yellow reflective stripes. Officials say they should always have their ID badges visible.

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  • by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2012 at 08:25 PM
    Shoot them all - ask questions later !!!
  • by Bilbo on Feb 4, 2012 at 09:44 AM
    Fake meter readers, as in the blow up doll type?
  • by Concerned citizen on Feb 3, 2012 at 07:46 PM
    Agreed! I don't answer the door period. If its someone I know, they will call me. If they say they are with a utility company, I will call and find out why they are sending someone to my door. Come on guys, you have to learn how to get around in today's increasingly dangerous society. It's very unfortunate but it is what is.
  • by Antisec on Feb 3, 2012 at 06:59 PM
    Ok so I can put together a fake badge with photo shop and give you the number to a prepaid cell and call it my supervisor. I can even ask you when is the best time to come back when your home to replace a part on said meter. People are so eager to say "well I work such and such hours" or " I'll be out of town such and such day". I can even make a decal for my car or truck for that added touch of realism. So if i come to your door call and verify my id# with the actual company.
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