Deputy Chris Curtice says there have been three cases in recent weeks. One victim lived in the 9000 block of E. Belmont Avenue. The other two victims lived in Northwest Fresno; one in the area of W. Shaw and N. Del Mar Avenues and the other near N. Fruit and W. Gettysburg Avenues.
"They portray themselves as PG&E workers and electricians," Curtice said. "They give them the story that there's been an accident involving a power pole and they have to go across the backyard and check out the breaker box or the wires that go across the backyard. In one case, they told the person they needed to go inside to check the sockets and light switches for fear of a fire."
Curtice said there's believed to be two or three men involved. The victims tell deputies they are Hispanic men with medium builds 5' 7" to 6'0", and clean shaven. Deputies say the burglars approach the homes on foot, wearing white t-shirts and jeans. In one case, one of the men was wearing an orange road safety vest. A brown pick-up and green SUV have been spotted with the burglaries.
"Normally when one of them engages the residents, the other tries to find a way inside the house, steal small items," Curtice said. "In one of the more recent ones we had, they stole jewelry."
PG&E Spokesman Denny Boyles says their employees are usually wearing protective clothing for handling gas and electric issues. He also says they should have proper identification.
"Any PG&E employee that comes into your house is going to be wearing a photo ID with their picture and it's going to say PG&E on it," Boyles said. "Even if they have that ID, if you have any questions we encourage customers to give us a call."
"We're never going to come to your home for a safety thing, unless you called us or if we think there's something in your neighborhood, we're going to be very visible PG&E presence."