KEY POINTS

  • Four men burglarized a Texas by convinced the home owner into allowing them inside to inspect her water system for coronavirus
  • The Garland Police Department warned that criminals are using the pandemic to victimize people
  • The police said legitimate utility servicemen have scheduled visits and can show proper identification
  • The CDC said there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in water

A woman from Garland, Texas, was fooled by four men who convinced her to let them inside her house by telling her the water system may be contaminated with coronavirus, the local police department said. The men then stole her jewelry.

On Wednesday, July 8, the burglars fooled the unnamed victim into believing that she might not be safe and that the inspection was necessary.

Once inside, some of the men distracted the woman as they did an "inspection" while the other suspects searched through her belongings and took her jewelry, per Dallas News.

“These suspects are using manipulating tactics to take advantage of innocent people. Don’t let these criminals fool you!" the Garland Police Department warned the public in a Facebook post.

The faces of the thieves were caught on the home's security cameras but the police asked the public for help in identifying them since they were wearing face masks. The public may call the local police at 972-485-4840 for any leads or information.

The Garland Police Department also said that if utility men from a known company or the city department knock on their doors, the owner of the house has the right not to let them in unless the visit was scheduled. These men should also be wearing familiar utility services uniforms, hold valid identification cards and ride in an identifiable vehicle.

tap-791172_1920 Burglars in Texas fooled a woman into thinking her water might have coronavirus but the CDC said the risk of virus transmission in water is low. Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pixabay

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there is no evidence that novel coronavirus can spread in drinking water, recreational water or sewer water.

"The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in treated drinking water. Water treatment plants use filters and disinfectants to remove or kill germs, like the virus that causes COVID-19," the CDC stated.

Aquatic venues also use a disinfectant like bromine or chlorine to kill any virus. The agency said the risk of COVID-19 transmission through a properly maintained sewage system is also low. While coronavirus has been found in untreated wastewater, data is still limited to its possible effects when exposed to this water system.