Police warn of ruse-entry burglaries
Updated: January 7, 2013 7:57PM
NORTHFIELD — Area police are reminding residents to be on alert for ruse-entry burglaries and other scams after a couple local incidents were recently reported.
According to Northfield police between 6:15 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. Dec. 30 a ruse burglary occurred at a home on the corner of Meadowview Drive and Winfield Road.
A department release states a male offender, possibly Hispanic, standing 5 feet 6 inches and weighing approximately 135 pounds, posed as a worker looking to “check the water” of the home. The man had a medium to slender build, medium complexion, black hair, was carrying a walkie-talkie and spoke with a Spanish accent. The suspect was allowed into the home by the homeowner.
After a few minutes a second male offender, standing 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches and weighing approximately 200 pounds, with a hefty build, dark medium length wavy hair and an unshaven face was seen running out of the house through the front door alongside the first offender.
The victim then discovered an extensive amount of jewelry and coins had been taken which police believe are worth in “excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Police were still waiting on a full list of items taken.
After fleeing the home, the offenders ran to the northwest and police were immediately called by the homeowner. A K-9 unit from the Skokie Police Department was brought in, but police were unable to locate the suspects.
Police say the first suspect distracted the homeowner, allowing the second suspect to enter the home and steal the items.
Northfield Deputy Police Chief Claude Casaletto said residents should never allow strangers into their homes and never allow anyone to roam their property because they may be checking for open doors.
“Never allow someone to perform driveway sealing or home repairs on the spot,” Casaletto said. “Ask for a business card to check on the reputation of the business. Do not deliberate or debate work that needs to be done and end the conversation.”
The Winnetka Police Department also placed a warning on its village website warning residents to be aware of a similar auto scam.
Police revealed a scam took place recently in a nearby suburb where offenders convinced a victim they needed work done on their car. The offenders were allowed to follow the victim him home and the offenders acted as if they were working on the victim’s car. After the so-called work was finished, the offenders demanded an exorbitant amount of money from the victim.
“It really comes down to trusting your instincts,” said Winnetka Deputy Police Chief Joe Pellus. “Anytime somebody comes up to your front door and says they’re with a company ask them for I.D. If it’s a true village employee they’re not going to mind waiting outside while you call the village to verify.”
According to police the biggest deterrent is to not allow offenders the opportunity to see the inside of your home. Police ask that residents immediately report any suspicious persons, activity, noises or vehicles in their neighborhoods.