Cook County Sheriff Warns of Ruse Burglaries Targeting Seniors

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Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is warning senior citizens to be cautious when someone comes to their door claiming to be a worker and has no proper identification – that “worker” may be trying to rob them of their valuables.

In a ruse type of burglary, offenders pose as some type of home repair, utility, or village employee. They tell the victims they have a question or an issue they need to discuss with them and will try to lure them outside or in the basement. The “worker” often is talking in a language other than English to let another individual know when to come inside. While the victim is distracted with questions or offer of service from the “worker,” the other goes inside the residence and takes cash, jewelry, or other items.

Cook County Sheriff’s Police have investigated a number of these ruse burglaries. The latest incident occurred Friday afternoon in unincorporated Orland Park where a 75-year-old woman was robbed of jewelry after she allowed a man into her home, who said he worked as an electrician for ComEd, but did not show identification.

Sheriff Dart offers the following safety tips to help avoid becoming a victim of these burglaries:

Ask for worker’s identification before opening the door.

Ask what company the person works for, and call the company to verify the person’s identity and reason for business before letting that person inside your home.

Call the city, village or utility to verify a worker’s identify if the individual says they are a city, village or utility employee before letting the worker inside.

Note any vehicle information – license plate, color, make and model of the vehicle.

Call 911 immediately if you encounter anyone suspicious.

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