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Newton Police Warn Residents of Suspicious Man Pretending To Be Water Department Employee

'Any time someone enters someone's home under false pretenses, it is not a good thing.'

A suspicious man accused of posing as a water department employee struck again Thursday in Massachusetts. Arlington police say they're investigating a similar incident following a warning from Newton police.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, a man went to 86-year-old Selma Grosser's Newton home on Pierrepoint Road. He was dressed in a yellow reflective vest with a name badge around his neck, according to authorities.

"He said, there is a lot of construction, and there is contamination in the water, and he wanted to check the pipes," Grosser recalls.

She says she thought he was authentic so she let him in and went down to the basement with him.

"He points to two pipes and he said, this is F1 and this is F2, and he was banging the pipes and he said, can you hear the difference in the noise? One of them has contamination, and I was like no, I don't hear anything." 

Grosser says she grew leery of the man.

"He said, I may have to cut off one part of one pipe and then resodder it. I said, you are not doing a thing here."

Grosser had had enough.

"I said, let me see your name tag again because it was stuck inside his coat. It was a handwritten name tag and I saw his name and when I saw his name he left."

Grosser then called police. Newton’s water department said it is unaware of any contamination and confirmed the man was not an employee. The homeowner told police the suspect left in a white van with no markings that resembled an ice cream truck.

"Any time someone enters someone's home under false pretenses, it is not a good thing. Either he was going to steal or do something else."

After quite a scare, Grosser says she won't be opening the door for any more strangers.

"My basement is a mess anyway, if he took something he can have it," Grosser said.

The man was described as a 5-feet-5-inches tall, heavy-set male who has a mole next to his right eye. He wore a baseball bat and dark coat, according to officials.

Police urge residents to refrain from letting him into their homes should he approach them.

Anyone with information on the man is encouraged to call the Newton Police Department at 617-796-2100 or via their tips line at 617-796-2121.

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