Phony Bedbug Exterminator Steals Jewels

New York Police are warning Queens residents to be on the lookout for a jewel thief in bedbug exterminator’s clothing.

CBS New York reports that the man knocks on apartment residents’ doors and identifies himself as a bedbug exterminator. He sports a blue uniform, an ID badge, and a white spray tank.

He then enters the bedroom and shuts the doors behind him and tells the residents to stay out of the room for 30 minutes to avoid breathing in the fumes. But instead of bedbugs, he’s looking for jewels. He cleaned out the jewelry boxes of three different victims, snatching up $15,000 worth of stolen goods.

It’s not uncommon in New York for supervisors to send around the apartment complex various maintenance and service works to perform work inside apartments without giving the residents a heads up.

Don’t open your door to strangers and make anyone claiming to be a service professional show ID. In New York, bugmen are required to carry a New York State photo ID and a pesticide applicator’s license.

NYPD: Be On Lookout For Phony — But Convincing — Exterminator [CBS New York]