Monday, April 02, 2018

Beware the ruse-entry burglar

Steve Tracy, a recently retired police officer with 30 years experience in Park Ridge, IL, Illinois, explains who these perps are and what to do about them.
Ruse-entry burglars will walk right into your home if your front door is open. They look for people out working in their yard. If a screen door is unlocked and the front door is open, that’s a ripe target for these kinds of thieves. Because I’ve dealt with ruse-entry burglars, I know how bold they can be. I keep my own front door shut and locked on summer days when I’m cutting my grass. I close my overhead garage door (since my attached garage leads right into my home), because I know I’m distracted when cutting my front, side and rear yard and that my awareness is lessened by the sound of the lawnmower.

Ruse-entry burglars will walk into your unlocked home and proceed directly to your master bedroom. They will target your dresser tops (jewelry boxes full of valuables) and your top drawers (more jewelry, watches and cash). They’ll take your pillowcase in which to put your property. That way, they’re not carrying a sack when they enter your home. They will check kitchen drawers and china cabinets for checks, cash and other potentially valuable items. If they are confronted, they often pretend not to speak English and feign they are sorry but needed a drink of water.

Among dozens of scams, some ruse-entry burglars will ring your bell and say they are with a local utility company. Never let anyone inside your home without proper identification and know that most legitimate workers do not need to be inside your home. Close the door and say that you will make a call and verify before letting anyone inside. Legitimate workers will wait and the fakes will take off. However, realize that ruse burglars are skilled at gently pushing and talking their way inside. They’re also experts at convincing you that they need to turn on your kitchen water and that you need to watch to see if there is a change in pressure while they go in your basement to check the water tank. Of course, the rushing water in your kitchen sink masks their footsteps going upstairs to your bedroom and stealing everything they can find.

In addition to the water-department ruse, there is the “I’m your new neighbor and I need you to come outside and look at where I want to build a fence along your property” scam. A second accomplice sneaks inside your home while you’re distracted outside trying to figure out which one of your neighbors moved. Another common ploy is, “Can you look at this lost dog outside that I’m trying to return to its owner? Have you seen it in the neighborhood?” The scenarios are endless. If any of these swindlers arrive at your door, slam it shut and call the police. Then make sure someone didn’t enter your home somehow while you were at the front door.
These days you have to be suspicious of everybody.

No comments:

Post a Comment