OAKLAND-- Police are urging residents to exercise caution when opening their door to supposed city employees asking about alarm systems, saying they do not work for the city and may be casing homes for burglaries, authorities said.

According to a resident's report, a man wearing an orange safety vest with an "Oakland Public Safety" tag came to her door Thursday night to inquire about the status of her alarm system. The man asked questions about how up-to-date the system was, whether it was tied to a cell phone or landline, and whether or not it was monitored, police said.

Authorities say they are not aware of any city-sponsored program performing this sort of check, and think it is likely the questions were aimed at gathering information for criminal use, officials said. Residents should not answer any questions about home alarm systems, and should report anyone asking similar questions to police immediately.

Residents are asked to contact police at 510-777-3333 if anyone has knocked on their door asking these sort of questions, and to dial 911 in case of an emergency situation.

Contact Erin Ivie at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.



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