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Burglars posing as city employees to rob houses

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Police are warning people to watch out for burglars they say are posing as tree trimmers in San Marcos and Austin in order to break into homes.

There are only two tree trimming companies that work for the city of Austin.

"They're very identifiable," said Carlos Cordova, with the City of Austin.

He explained what residents should look for so they do not fall for imposters.

"One of them is Asplundh," said Cordova. "They drive orange trucks. They wear orange shirts and they wear orange helmets, and the other one is Wright Tree Service and they're identifiable because they have white trucks and white equipment."

Two men are suspected of pretending to be city tree trimming subcontractors in order to steal from people's homes.

It recently happened to a woman in Austin, in the 400 block of South Park Drive. Police say her bedroom was burglarized and she had money stolen.

In San Marcos, a couple told investigators they had jewelry and other valuables stolen from their home.

"What's typical of a lot of these scams is they do know something about the operation," Cordova said.

In the Austin incident, one of the suspects knew about some recent utility work that had been done in the area.

Their method of operation is the same. One suspect keeps the homeowners busy out front, while the other goes around back to burglarize the home.

"Contractor badges have the same logo, but they will typically have a yellow or red stripe right here that says they're a contractor," said Cordova.

Cordova adds, the city usually gives advance notice to homeowners associations before sending crews out on the street.

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