Fake city workers rob woman after claiming her water had COVID-19

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman lost precious jewelry, including a $30,000 watch, when she says two men posed as city of Houston water workers and told her they had to go inside her home because her water was contaminated with coronavirus.

It happened in the Energy Corridor area on Tuesday night.

Chere Cormier told ABC13 two men claimed to be water treatment specialists and told her she had a broken pipe in her backyard and demanded to be let inside.

"They said that the pipes were broken and they were digging in the back and that the coronavirus was in the water," said Cormier.

She said the men even went as far as attempting to show her the alleged contamination in a glass of water.

"Then they said, 'Run the water,' then they separated me from my husband they had him in the back room running the water there," she explained.

Cormier says the men then tricked her into placing her $30,000 Presidential Rolex watch into a bowl of what they called "water solution" to "clean it from COVID."

She also placed her 3-carat diamond wedding ring into the bowl as well.

"It is a scam, it is a definite scam," she yelled. "I could have been raped, [my husband] could have been shot. I thought, 'Well I'm just going to dip it and get it right back."

Cormier said she and her husband are elderly and have been staying home to avoid exposure to the virus.

She told ABC13 she ran after the men, and said she was nearly hit when they hit the gas to escape.

"I ran after them banging on the glass screaming, 'My watch! My ring! My wedding ring!" explained Cormier. "They backed up and almost hit me because they came way up here."

She has since filed a report with authorities, but realizes she may never see any of her items again.

"Do not open the door for anyone," she warns. "Call the police and have them check it out before you ever let them in the house."

City officials want to remind viewers that Houston Public Works employees will never ask to enter your home for any reason. Upon request, employees must show their ID when out in the field. If you have questions about your water or water service, you can call 311 (713.837.0311) or email 311@houstontx.gov .

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.

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