Ruse Burglaries and Scams; Don't be a Target
The Lemont Police Department wants to remind residents to be wary of "ruse burglaries" and scams.
Lemont Police recently received a report of an attempted burglary in a neighborhood near downtown Lemont. Such crimes usually take place in the spring or summer and target elderly people who live alone. Here's what happens: These 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 valuable items. The typical ruse burglary takes place on weekdays during the daylight hours.
These offenders use many story lines, 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.
- Telephone calls or emails from distant relatives requesting money.
In a recent case, the offenders claimed to be replacing power poles in the area. If you have scheduled an appointment with a contractor, it's a good idea to ask for a business card or company ID, and to check to see if the person's vehicle or uniform has the company's logo on it. Utility workers also have service vehicles displaying the company logo.
If a solicitor comes to your residence, prior to answering the door, attempt to locate and remember what kind of vehicle he or she is driving (make, model, color, type). Further, make a mental note of the person's attire and physical characteristics. Ruse or distraction burglaries are becoming more prevalent.
Avoid home repair scams by never allowing someone to perform driveway sealing or other repairs on the spot. Residents are advised not to let transient workers perform repair work without providing a business card, allowing you to check on the reputation of the business.
If someone you don't know knocks on your door and asks you to step out of your home for any reason, either lock all doors before exiting and take your key with you, or don't comply.
If ever in doubt, or if the person is persistent in entering your home, close and lock your door and call 9-1-1 immediately.