February 18, 2010 - Back in December, we told you about an incident in Buffalo Grove where a resident was burglarized after a subject approached him claiming to be a utility worker (click here to read that article). Unfortunately, we have been hearing more and more reports of crimes against the elderly. The most recent ruse was roofers "needing the get buckets of water." Two men went to the homes of two elderly citizens and told them their company had put the roof on their home years earlier and they needed buckets of water. If they were allowed in, one of the suspects would fill the buckets, causing a distraction and covering up any noises the other suspect was making in the other room while he was stealing valuables. Over $40,000 was stolen from these two victims.
There are, quite possibly, more victims of this scam, but because the criminals steal small items (jewelry, cash, coins,etc.), these items aren't always missed immediately.
There are hundreds of different ruses a criminal will use in order to gain access to your home - and your valuables. If you have not called for a repair, an estimate, etc., there is no reason to allow these people into your home. Be especially careful if there is more than one person (although the others may be hidden from first view), as one will distract you while the other does the stealing. If you are unsure, always err on the side of safety and refuse to let them in or even speak with them any longer. Call your local police and advise them of this activity, providing as much information as you can (descriptions of the subjects, their vehicle, which way they went, etc.).
See our new page, Scamming the Elderly, for more information and some helpful links.