(CBS SF) — A man who posed as a Fremont animal services officer burglarized the home of an elderly couple on Wednesday.

The man walked into the open garage in the 200 block of Helado Road near Mission Boulevard around noon and approached the couple in their 80s and started a conversation with them, according to police.

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He told the couple he was in the area to respond to reports of loose dogs and rodents.

The elderly man said there was a gopher problem in the backyard and asked the suspect to make measurements to set up traps, police said.

The suspect provided the couple with measuring tape to measure the yard.

After the couple measured for about 20 to 30 minutes, the suspect told them he had enough information and walked away from the home south on Caliente Way, according police.

The couple then went inside their garage to find chairs knocked down and items moved around in their bedroom where a safe was missing.

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The couple believes the suspect was not acting alone in the crime though police did not have information on additional suspects, according to police.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall with an average build and dark hair.

He wore a navy blue short-sleeved shirt with an ID card to the right side, navy blue pants and an earpiece. The left breast of the shirt had a patch sewn on top of another patch stating something similar to animal control, according to police.

He had a dark-colored tattoo on the left side of his neck that was about an inch long and described as a “blob” with three dots underneath, police said.

Police responded to a similar scam last year in which the suspects claimed to be animal service control employees, told residents they were looking for poisonous snakes and burglarized their homes.

Anyone with information on Wednesday’s burglary is asked to call Fremont police Detective Robert Smith at (510) 790-6800 or Rsmith@Fremont.gov.

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