Man who posed as utility worker to scam elderly woman arrested

Published On: Mar 28 2014 03:18:29 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 29 2014 05:31:36 PM EDT

An alert neighbor explains how he thought something wasn't quite right when he saw an unfamiliar car in an Oakland Park woman's driveway.

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. -

A man who posed as a utility worker in an attempt to scam an elderly woman in February has turned himself in, Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said.

Tom Bimbo surrendered Thursday afternoon at the BSO's Oakland Park office and was arrested on a burglary charge.

Deputies credited the 87-year-old woman’s neighbor, Oakland Park Commissioner Tim Lonergan, for foiling the alleged plot.

Lonergan noticed Bimbo's black Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway of his neighbor's home and watched as two men wearing safety vests and hard hats stepped out. He watched as one of the men knocked on his neighbor’s door and was let inside, while the second man waited and walked in through the unlocked door unannounced.

"(She) is from a generation, I think, where she trusts and respects people," Lonergan told Local 10. "And I admire that, but unfortunately today we have to be very careful."

Lonergan took pictures of the car and its license plate before checking on his neighbor. When he walked in, he saw one man talking to her near the back door while the other man was walking out of the woman's bedroom.

"At that point, I felt something not right was going on," Lonergan said.

The men said they were there to check for leaks, but Lonergan didn't recognize them as city workers and noticed they weren't wearing badges. They drove off after Lonergan kept questioning them, but detectives used his photos to link Bimbo to the car.

Bimbo was arrested in Pennsylvania three years ago on a similar charge.

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