WASHINGTON TWP. (WWJ) – An upscale neighborhood in Macomb County is on alert after one woman’s encounter with a man who she thought was a gas company employee turned into terror.

The situation unfolded around 9:25 a.m. Friday when 911 dispatchers received a call about a home invasion in progress in the 57000 block of Mooncreek Court, near 26 Mile and Mound roads in Washington Township.

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The homeowner, a 37-year-old woman that a black man posing as a utility worker forced his way into her home and was brandishing a small handgun. The woman retreated to an upstairs bedroom, yelling at the suspect that she was calling 911.

“There’s a person in my house, he pulled a gun on me. I’ve never seen this person before,” the woman told the dispatcher. “He rang the doorbell, he looked through my window and I’m like ‘Who is it?’ and he’s like ‘We had a gas leak in the neighborhood’ and he said that he was from the gas company.”

The homeowner’s mother, who was also inside of the residence, grabbed a kitchen knife and confronted the assailant — which led to him fleeing the scene in a black mini-van with a sliding door. It’s believed that there may be a second suspect that acted as a getaway driver.

Deputies responded to the neighborhood and canvassed the area, but were unable to locate the suspects. Police are now reviewing video surveillance from the home that may have captured the suspects or the vehicle.

The suspect is described as black male, approximately 30-years-old and 5’7″ tall with a medium build. He was wearing a dark hoodie, dark pants, and a light green reflective coat at the time.

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Anyone who might have information about the incident or the suspect is urged to contact police at 586-307-9412.

DTE Energy is reminding its customers to be vigilant in wake of the utility impostor incident.

“This incident continues a trend of people claiming to be utility workers with the intent of gaining access to homes,” the utility said in a statement. “Customers should not let unidentified personnel into their homes. Michigan law helps protect DTE Energy customers against scam artists by making it a felony to impersonate utility workers.”

Protect yourself and your family from becoming victims by following these tips:

At the Door: Ask for identification. All DTE Electric and DTE Gas employees and contractors carry photo identification badges, and are required to display their badge if asked. If you are unsure about an employee’s identification, or want to verify the nature of the work to be done at your home, call DTE at 800-477-4747. Do not allow people into your home who:

  • Claim to offer a DTE Electric or DTE Gas refund. Our employees never deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers’ homes.
  • Claim to sell DTE Electric or DTE Gas products or services. DTE employees do not engage in door-to-door sales.
  • Attempt to collect a bill payment. DTE does not collect or accept utility bill payments at customers’ homes or businesses.
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DTE encourages customers to call the police if you believe the person at your door is a con artist posing as a utility worker.