The Lake County Sheriff's Office is warning homeowners of "ruse" burglaries and how to take action to prevent being the victim of these types of crimes.
Local municipalities and county sheriff's offices have received an increase in these types of crimes in the past few months. The burglaries usually occur during the late morning and afternoon hours, prior to 5 p.m.
Victims are targeted because of their advanced age and the probability they are living alone. The offenders usually travel in pairs, with one offender distracting the homeowner while the second offender enters the home to search for and steal cash, jewelry and other items. There are many story lines offenders will use, including:
- Inquiries about the homeowner's water supply or pressure
- Informing the homeowner there is an electrical problem
- Offers to repair gutters/fences or tree trimming and landscaping
- Blacktop/driveway repair
- False statements about problems at the neighbor's house
- Inquiries about homes for sale in the neighborhood
This Community Alert is to serve as a reminder that nobody should be allowed inside your home unless they are personally known to you or unless it is a scheduled appointment. If a solicitor comes to your residence, prior to answering the door, attempt to locate and remember what kind of vehicle they are driving (make, model, color, type). Further, make a mental note of their attire and physical characteristics. If you do choose to speak with a solicitor or utility worker, never leave your front door unlocked or unattended.
This type of "ruse" or distraction burglary is becoming more prevalent. Homeowners must always be wary of offers that sound too good to be true and cautious of strangers who attempt to charm you into buying something.
If you feel you have been the victim of a ruse burglary or if you have seen suspicious vehicles and/or subjects approaching elderly neighbors, please call the Lake County Sheriff's Office at (847) 549-5200 to report these incidents or 911 if the offense is in progress at the time. Please be ready to provide a vehicle description and a license plate number, if possible.
This information was provided by Lake County Board Member Craig Taylor on behalf of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.