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Mar 18, 2013 8:22 PM by Jacqui Heinrich, jheinrich@koaa.com

Criminals posing as security guards cause concern for citizens, legit guards

As the weather improves, generally the crime rate rises right along with temperatures. Recently, police have gotten multiple reports of people posing as security guards, Comcast workers, and even plumbers, all so these potential criminals can case homes they may later burglarize.

That was Chris Weed's concern last Thursday when he was painting his porch and a security guard approached him and started asking questions. "He said 'Well, we're just on security patrol around here,' and I said that's a little odd and he asked why. I said well, that's what the police are for," Weed told News 5's Jacqui Heinrich in an interview.

Since the neighborhood Weed lives in doesn't employ any guards, he thought it was suspicious. "He was just kind of lurking and that was the odd thing about it, I just thought no one has come up in my twenty-two years of living here and kinda got in my business," Weed said.

Police say Weed wasn't wrong to question it; two times over the weekend people posing as utilities workers tried to enter homes on Clemson and Hercules Drive, and police have gotten a number of recent reports of criminals posing as authority figures for personal gain. "This can be a method of operation to where criminals are trying to get into a person's home to see what is in that home in order to come back and burglarize it," Lieutenant Patricia Feese of the Colorado Springs Police Department told News 5.

It turns out that guard was legitimate, he was just outside his jurisdiction. The company he works for, Cheyenne Mountain Security, is employed by the Old North End Neighborhood. The guard says even though he was outside the Old North End he stopped to make sure Weed was alright; from where he was standing, it looked like a body wasn't moving under the porch.

The incident highlights a dilemma some guards are facing. "Do we only worry about what were supposed to do or keep any eye out for any kind of activity that could be suspicious?" Captain Christopher Merritt of Cheyenne Mountain Security said.

In light of criminals posing as authority figures, it's also hard for citizens to determine who is legit. Police say the best solution is to always ask for identification; police officers, security guards, and utilities workers are required to carry identification. If you believe a person isn't who they say they are, police urge you to ask them for credentials or call the organization they claim to work for to confirm it.

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