Arlington Heights police have published for residents a “DIVERSION/RUSE BURGLARY ALERT” through the Citizen Observer website (citizenobserver.com). CitizenObserver.com is a company that specializes in law enforcement tools for police department interaction with citizens.
Following is information from the Arlington Heights police that can be found at the citizenobserver.com website (direct link)
We all experience moments of distraction. We get busy and have more than one thing on our minds. We only lose time when that happens. If we fall victim to offenders that use the art of distraction we can lose much more, including jewelry, cash and valuable family heirlooms. Seniors are common targets.
REMEMBER – Never allow any worker without an appointment to enter your home. Con artists may pretend to work for a well known established company or possibly the Village of Arlington Heights. This type of crime takes more than one offender. Con artists will often use what sounds like a legitimate problem as a distraction while other offenders enter your home to commit a theft. They may make a request that requires the victim to complete a task alone. If talking to subjects outside of your home make sure all exterior doors remain locked. Being approached about any unsolicited need for roof repair, window repair, natural gas leaks, frozen pipes, tree trimming, gutter cleaning, snow removal and water meter checks are some prime examples and should be met with CAUTION.
IMMEDIATE WARNING SIGN: Subject asks the victim to fill a bucket of water.
ACTUAL ARLINGTON HEIGHTS CASES
SCAM #1 Victim pulled into garage and was approached by offender explaining that there was a frozen water pipe in the neighbor’s townhouse. The victim and offender went upstairs while the victim’s wife was still downstairs. A second offender entered the residence and asked her to run water in the first floor bathroom. After both offenders left, the victim discovered over $14,000 in jewelry missing from the bedroom.
SCAM #2 Offenders rang the front door bell and told the victim she needed roof repairs. She was distracted and confused because the offender spoke rapidly. The first offender went upstairs while the second subject took the victim into the kitchen. She walked back to the stairs and met the offender coming down. She told them to leave. The victim discovered that her wedding/engagement ring set and a watch had been removed from the upstairs bedroom.
SCAM #3 Offender appeared at the victim’s door claiming to be trimming trees in the area. He explained that the neighbor had asked him to trim back one of her trees. When the victim walked toward the back yard the offender had entered the residence and was next to her. They were looking out the back window when the offender received a cell phone call. He then left quickly out the front door. The victim later found approximately $400 missing from a bedroom dresser.
SCAM #4 Offender rang the door bell and asked the victim if he could remove the snow from her roof for $50. He walked into the house and asked if her neighbors might be interested. She asked if the offender could come back the next day and he left. The victim later found that a second offender stole one diamond ring and one gold wedding band valued at over $2,500.
SCAM #5 An offender claiming to be a Village official asked victim to accompany him to the back of her yard to ask her questions concerning Village street work. The subject talked for five minutes and then left. The victim later discovered two gold chains, one broach, one pendant and a diamond ring were all missing.