News Briefs: Phony Utility Workers Arrested After Attempted Robbery

Also in this week's sewer and water news, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposes a five-year infrastructure projects plan with a $150 billion price tag

Two individuals in Phoenix, Arizona, recently were arrested for posing as utility workers and attempting to rob an elderly couple in their home.

The suspects are a man and a woman in their mid 20s, and the two victims told officers they saw one of the suspects wearing a safety vest. The suspects knocked on the couple’s door and told the victims they were water department employees and needed to check the water inside the residence.

Authorities say the couple watched as the suspects turned on a kitchen faucet and filled a cup with water.

“He actually spit in the cup, gave it to the homeowner and said, ‘See?  You have bubbles in your water. This needs to be repaired,’” Armando Carbajal with Phoenix Police Department tells

Apparently the suspects had a young child with them who was wandering around the house picking up items like jewelry, and the couple then asked the suspects to leave. They got a photo of the vehicle as it left the area, which allowed police to initiate a traffic stop and arrest them later on.

New Jersey Governor Calls for Federal Solution to Aging Infrastructure

Shortly after Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka asked President Donald Trump in a letter to fund water infrastructure, Gov. Phil Murphy called aging infrastructure a national problem that requires a federal solution in his State of the State Address.

“More than 1.5 million residents — north, central, and south, rural and urban — are currently serviced by water with elevated lead levels,” Murphy said. “We must leverage every opportunity to build a modern water infrastructure network that ensures the delivery of clean water to every child, and every family.

“We have inherited water infrastructure that is, in some places, a century old, if not older. Some of Newark’s water lines were installed in the 1880s. Mayor Ras Baraka has been on the frontlines of this, and I applaud him and his team for their work to protect Newark’s residents.”

Murphy assured citizens that he would continue to press the federal government for assistance updating clean-water infrastructure.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Proposes $150 Billion Infrastructure Plan in New York

Meanwhile, in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a five-year plan that includes $150 billion in infrastructure projects during his own State of the State Address.

As part of that proposal, Cuomo called for a new $10 billion Green Future Fund allocating $5 billion for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, along with $300 million toward an existing fund that includes financing for waterfront revitalization projects.


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