HAYWARD -- A suspect posing as a contract worker burglarized an East Bay resident's home, telling the unsuspecting homeowner he needed to measure her property lines for a new fence.

The scam took place last week at a home on the 900 block of Cottonwood Drive, Sgt. Mark Ormsby said Thursday.

About 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 18, a man knocked on the front door of a 62-year-woman's home and identified himself as a fencing contractor for a next-door neighbor. The man told the woman that her neighbor wanted to install a new fence, that there was a discrepancy with their property line and then asked if he could take measurements of the fence line in her backyard, Ormsby said.

The homeowner agreed and walked the man into the backyard. As she did, Ormsby said, the man told her to stay outside with him for liability reasons.

The man, who carried a walkie-talkie radio, used it to periodically speak with another man and appeared to be taking measurements using his own footsteps and pace.

After about 20 minutes, the man told the woman he had to return to his truck to retrieve tools and a business card. When the woman returned inside her home she noticed her purse had been moved and that money was missing from her wallet. Jewelry was also missing from a bedroom in the home, Ormsby said.

The man never returned into the home, police said.


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Police described the suspect as a Hispanic man in his mid 30s, 5 feet 9 inches, with a medium build and dark hair.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 510-293-7151.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.