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Editors Note: The following incidents were listed among the official reports of the Burbank Police Department. Readers are reminded that an arrest by the police does not constitute a finding of guilty. Only a court of law can determine whether an offender is guilty or not guilty of the offence with which he or she has been charged.
Editors Note: Not every arrest leads to a conviction. Guilt or innocence is determined by the court system.
Earlier this week, The Burbank Beat received a message from a distraught reader. The writer detailed a crime that was committed against her elderly parents who reside in Burbank. It was a classic case of a “ruse burglary” or “distraction burglary.”
Ruse burglaries often target the elderly and are perpetrated by a pair of con-artists working as a team. The first conman draws the victim out of the house under some sort of pretext while the second conman enters the house and steals money and other valuables. In several recent area ruse burglaries, the conman posed as a utility worker and lured the victim outside claiming some problem with the homeowner’s gas or electric line.
In this particular case, the victim was lured outside by a “new neighbor” who was “admiring the landscaping.” The con-artist kept the elderly victim occupied while his partner entered the home. The victim told police that the conman received several calls on his cellphone during the course of their conversation (probably from his partner inside the residence). When the victim re-entered the home, they found it had been ransacked and discovered money missing.
Unfortunately this is a very common type of crime that has been on the uptick in the south suburbs. Here are some tips from the Oak Lawn Police Department for preventing this type of crime that were published in a recent Oak Lawn Patch article.
Senior Safety Tips for Preventing Ruse Burglaries
Please share this information with your family and neighbors. Be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious persons in your neighborhood. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to call 9-1-1 if something doesn’t look right or feel right.