Woman, 81, dies after shooting at fake utility workers

HOUSTON - An 81-year-old woman died of an apparent heart attack after shooting at two people who posed as utility workers.

Memorial Villages police said a man and a woman posed as electric company employees and talked a homeowner in the 10600 block of Memorial Drive into opening her door about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday.

"They're very unassuming people," Police Chief Haril Walpole said. "The female is very young, attractive, unassuming -- someone you wouldn't suspect."

The pair said they needed to do some work inside the home and in the back yard, police said.

Investigators said the female suspect kept the homeowner busy with conversation while the man went into the home.

When the man came out of the home, the homeowner became suspicious and confronted him, police said.

"As they tried to escape, she fired two shots at them," Walpole said.

The couple dropped items they took from the home as they ran to their getaway car.

The suspects fled in a newer-model white Dodge or Chrysler van with CX1 as the first three numbers of the license plate, police said.

The woman then called 911 and said she might be having a heart attack. She was taken to a hospital, where she later died. Her name has not been released.

Investigators said the woman lived in the home with her husband, but he was away at the time of the attack.

Police reminded residents to not open their door to anyone claiming to be a utility worker.

"If you didn't call them and a utility worker knocks on your door, call 911 immediately," Walpole said. "Utility companies basically are only responsible for the outside of your house and typically wouldn't have a reason to come inside."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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