PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say subcontractors working for IGS Energy – about 15 of them – hit a Hill District neighborhood Tuesday night and one of those employees attempted to steal from the home of a customer he was soliciting to switch electric companies.

“They got me for my iPad,” a victim said.

Police say the IGS subcontractor promised to save the family money on their utility bills then ripped them off on the way out the door.

Marty Griffin: “So they come to your house saying you’re going to save money on electricity …”

Victim 2: “And steal from us instead … It’s ridiculous. It’s just absolutely ridiculous.”

Marty Griffin: “How do you feel knowing that a number of these employees representing this legitimate company are convicted felons?”

Victim 1: “Scared to death.”

Griffin: “With outstanding warrants.”

Victim 1:“Scared to death because you really don’t know what they are capable of doing.”

That’s the shocker to police.

Both of the subcontractor’s employees arrested at the scene of the alleged attempted theft – Henry Flakes and Desmond Mickens – had felony convictions and out-of-state warrants, Mickens for felony Burglary.

In the same neighborhood, police arrested another employee of the subcontractor, Joel Yancoskie, also with a warrant out for his arrest on theft by deception charges.

Marty Griffin: “Of the four people you ran into last night, all four had criminal histories?”

Pittsburgh Police Officer Dave Lincoln: “Correct.”

IGS says it hired a subcontractor to bring the employees into town, and for now it is shutting down operations here.

In the meantime, police say be cautious with anyone at your door.

“If you don’t feel comfortable with who’s at your door, do not open your door,” Lincoln said. “It’s your right not to let anyone in the home that you do not want to.”

IGS operates in 11 states and has a million customers. In KDKA’s original story an IGS spokesman said the company did not conduct background checks on the workers.

After our story aired, the company clarified that the subcontractor was to conduct background checks, but acknowledged that the subcontractor’s background checks were flawed. The company reiterated that it does not knowingly hire felons.

IGS Energy
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

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