ROANOKE RAPIDS — A Halifax County family is glad to be alive after three men posing as meter readers robbed their home and kidnapped a young girl.
The 8-year-old girl who witnessed bogus utility workers conning their way into her grandmother's home says they were convincing. After talking their way in, they bound the elderly woman and kidnapped her grandaughter, the 8-year-old's sister.
"They were dressed in blue clothes with a hard hat on and were out around the telephone pole in the yard, and the light pole, and they did actually pull the meter," said Halifax County Sheriff Jeff Frazier.
The kidnapped girl was later found unhurt in Nash County, but deputies say the assault is a warning not to let strangers in your home.
Legitimate CP&L workers say they can do all their work outside the house, so as a standard rule they don't need to come in.
"If ever anybody comes to your door representing CP&L and says they need to come in to work on your interior power panel or to sell them on a heat pump, that should be a clue right away that something's amiss. We never do that," said CP&L employee Roy Jones.
Except for contract workers, this company sports colorful logos and picture identification, but even the props can be phony. Law enforcement and service workers agree that the safest way to protect yourself is to keep your door locked and call the company.
"You can always call our customer service center back, call your local law enforcement agency, whatever you do don't let them in. That's the primary thing to remember. We never have to come inside," Jones said.