the Joplin Police Department has received several calls in reference to a suspect(s) who has been impersonating an Empire Electric Company employee.
The suspect appears to be targeting senior citizens throughout the city. There may be more than one suspect involved, as descriptions have been slightly different as far as clothing and vehicles are concerned.
One victim reported seeing the suspect in a black pickup truck. Another victim reported seeing the suspect in a red Chevrolet Avalanche. One victim reported that the suspect was a white male wearing a hard hat, and a pink shirt. Another victim reported the suspect was a white male wearing a tan polo type shirt with khaki pants.
It has been reported that the suspect(s) will come to the door of residents and advise that they are there to inspect their circuit breaker box or fuse box. The suspect has walked around the residences of victims. So far, nothing has been reported stolen from these contacts, but it is possible that the suspects have taken belongings or are casing the residences in order to commit future burglaries.
The reporting victims have contacted Empire and have been informed that they had not sent anyone out to their residences.
The Joplin Police Department has been in touch with Empire and they have advised that their employees have proper identification, use Empire vehicles, and it would be highly unlikely that any Empire employee would ever need to come inside a residence. They have advised that if an Empire employee does come to your residence and you are unsure of their legitimacy, to please contact their office.
If you have any information about the suspect(s) identification, have further information, or feel that you have been a victim of any crime arising out of a possible impersonation, please contact the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131. If it is an emergency, please call 911.