Ruse Burglary Alert
Southern Lake County, both incorporated and unincorporated areas, have experienced an increase in ruse burglaries over the past two months. A ruse burglary is a distraction technique used to lure homeowners outside of their home. After the homeowner is outside the home and distracted by one individual, another individual(s) enters the home typically targeting items to steal such as cash, jewelry, and other items of value. Suspects will use many excuses to lure homeowners outside the residence including claims of being subcontracted by local government, ploys of a broken pipe, schemes for landscaping services such as tree trimming, fence line questions, and so forth.
In addition to luring homeowners outside the home, some offenders will divert homeowners’ attention inside their home. There are also instances when offenders will remain inside with homeowners, distracting them inside their residence, while other individuals will enter the home unbeknownst to homeowners. Senior citizens are frequently the intended target of these crimes.
Sheriff Mark Curran said, “It is extremely important to report suspicious activity in your neighborhood. We encourage residents to keep a watchful eye on their neighborhood, especially looking out for our senior citizens. Being vigilant and reporting anything out of the ordinary is the first line of defense against these criminals.”
Undersheriff Ray Rose said, “If you see a person or car in the area you don’t recognize, safely take note of the vehicle description, license plate, and call 911. Deputies would rather respond to a false alarm than miss an opportunity to apprehend these burglars. We aggressively pursue these felons who prey on the elderly.”
Below are a few additional reminders:
o Never allow anyone inside your home without a prescheduled appointment
o If an individual claims affiliation with your local government, ask the person to produce identification and call the government office to verify the individual
o Do not exit your home with an unscheduled visitor, leaving your home and valuables as potential targets
o Keep an extra watch on elderly neighbors and family members reminding them of these types of criminal behaviors
o Educate your relatives and neighbors (especially the elderly), informing them ruse burglaries are on the increase in Lake County
o Immediately report any suspicious activity by calling 911