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Posted on: June 14, 2022

Crime Prevention Alert: Ruse Burglary

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During the late afternoon hours of June 10, Winnetka Police Officers responded to a home on the 900 block of Sunset Road for reports of a residential burglary. Occupants inside the home had been awakened by noises, and upon investigating, they encountered two males inside. When confronted, one of the intruders stated that he needed to show an occupant some tree-related/landscaping concerns outside. The occupant followed this male outside while the other remained inside. Later, a second occupant confronted two males inside the home, causing them to leave. The master bedroom had been targeted, and jewelry was taken.

This incident is consistent with a ruse-style burglary. A classic ruse burglary example is as follows: two or more individuals come to your home and claim to be utility workers or contractors. Often, one of the individuals will attempt to draw you out of your home by telling you they need to show you a problem in your back yard, like phone or cable lines, tree trimming, etc. While you are distracted and out of the house, a second person will enter your home and search for valuables.             

Recommendations: When someone knocks on your door, don’t open it unless you know your visitor. View the person through a door viewer, window, or video doorbell. Ask who they are and what they want. If the person is a legitimate utility worker or contractor, ask to see identification. Have the person slip their credentials through your mail slot or view them through a window or video doorbell. If the individual does not provide identification, do not open the door. If you have concerns or questions on the legitimacy of the person at your door, call 911 immediately. Keep the doors to your home locked, regardless of whether your home is occupied.      

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