HOME SECURITY REMINDER
The northwest suburbs have a large amount of workers that work in streets, parkways or yards of residential communities. These workers include meter readers, garbage haulers, cable television & Internet providers (AT&T, Comcast, WOW), NICOR natural gas workers, Com Ed workers, animal trappers & animal wardens, tree trimmers and inspectors.
Independent contractors, such as driveway sealers, roofers, siding contractors, window installers, landscapers, sales people, solicitors, peddlers, religious spokespeople, charity seekers and others are also commonly found in most neighborhoods. Many solicitors ignore “NO SOLICITING” notices at front doors.
The large numbers of types of worker gives opportunity to imposters to attempt thefts and other crimes against residents of residential communities.
The Rolling Meadows Police Department investigated four burglary and attempted burglary incidents last Fall (2008) which involved an initial offender attempting to gain entry to a residence by claiming to be a utility or water department worker. Once inside, the first offender then attempts to create a diversion and distracts the resident while two or more other offenders enter the residence to commit theft of items in the residence.
Residents are being asked to ask for proper ID from uniformed employees and watch for official city utility vehicles and report suspicious behavior.
It is also advisable to keep screen or storm doors closed and locked while speaking with unknown persons.
Never answer the door without your phone in your hand, so you can immediately dial 9-1-1 if something goes awry. Landlines show the callers address at the 9-1-1 center and many cell phones have GPS locators included, so that even if a criminal knocked the phone out of your hand, the Emergency 9-1-1 center might be able to trace your location if you were able to dial 9-1-1 and hit SEND … and even though you didn’t speak. If the phone would be knocked to the ground, you still might be able to yell to the phone and might be heard by the 9-1-1 operator. Emergency 9-1-1 operators are trained to listen carefully to background noise and relay any noises they hear to police officers that might be sent to the scene. Keep in mind that 9-1-1 operators will attempt callbacks on disconnected telephone calls, and if there is no answer they will send a police officer on an “Abandoned 9-1-1” call for a security check.
DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL 9-1-1 FOR POLICE ASSISTANCE IN CONFIRMATION OF LEGITIMATE WORKERS.
These days it easy to create a fake ID with an official looking company logo — even an exact replica of a graphic image. With a digital camera, scanner, printer and laminator it is easy to create a fake, but official-looking ID.
Any suspicious or questionable activity should be reported by calling 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.