Police: Man posing as home security employee

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- From the moment a skinny man with glasses showed up at their door at 11:30 Saturday morning, Kelly Billups and her boyfriend felt something wasn't right.

"He had a badge and a folder but he wasn't very clean looking," Billups said. "He was dressed in a baggy sweatshirt and jeans."

The man said he was with the home security company Protection One. But Billups, her boyfriend, and later police, would determine the man was most likely an imposter who may have targeted them because of a security sign in their front yard.

Just two days before, Vivint had installed a security system at their south Wichita home. They had decided the system would make them feel even more safe in their neighborhood which sits near 55th Street South and South Saint Francis. The company had left a bright orange Vivint sign that was still sticking up out of their planter in the front yard by the door.

Billups says the man at their door Saturday morning was nothing like the well-dressed Vivint technician who had installed their system.

"He did not fit the description of a professional person at all," Billups said.

What the man told her and her boyfriend about why he was there sent up even more red flags.

"He told us Vivint was going out of business and Protection One was taking over for them and he needed to come in and update the system and wanted us to sign an agreement," Billups said.

Billups says she and her boyfriend immediately remembered something the Vivint technician had told them while installing their system Thursday. He had asked them to be on the lookout for people who come to houses pretending to be with Vivint or other security companies.

Their gut told them the man at the door was one of those imposters.

"My first thought is that he wants to come in and go through our system and maybe get a code so that later he can break into our house and possibly steal something," Billups said.

They told the man to leave. They say he had no car so they watched him wander off down the street and sit on a fire hydrant. That made Billups even more uncomfortable and she called police.

The man was gone before officers could arrive. When officers did get there, they say they checked with Protection One. The company told them it didn't have any technicians in the area.

Billups says she doesn't know what to think.

She says her belief is the person was an imposter but she says also wonders if he really was with a security company that was trying to rip her off with a bad contract.

"I would just like to know what is going on," Billups said. "It bothers me not to know."

In the meantime, she says, she wants to warn others to be on alert.

"We want people to know there are people out there doing this because it could happen to them," Billups said.

Wichita Police say if you are ever in doubt in a similar situation, call the security service provider because they normally have someone on call 24 hours a day. Officers say to ask if there is a representative there who could verify if the technician truly works for the company.

Previous Story:

A homeowner tells police a man came to her door Saturday night posing as a home security employee.

It happened at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the 5400 block of South St. Francis.

Sgt. Ed Brower said a man in his 20s went to the woman's home, saying he was with Protection 1 and that his company had bought out Vivint, which is the provider of her recently-installed alarm system.

The 23-year-old homeowner told the man that Vivint warned her about home security impostors. The man then ran off. He has not been found.

Brower said anyone faced with a similar situation should call police or the alarm company to see if they have a representative in the area.

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