Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart

Dart warns seniors about ruse burglaries

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From staff reports

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is warning the public about ruse burglaries following an incident that occurred last week.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 8, Sheriff’s Police responded to a call of a residential burglary in unincorporated Norwood Township.

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Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart

Upon arrival, they learned that one of the five unidentified offenders knocked on the back door of an elderly couple’s home, led them to the backyard and told them about an alleged issue with their drinking water.

While they were distracted by the first offender, multiple accomplices entered the home through the front door, in search of valuables. The victims spotted one of the intruders and ran after him.

The two offenders got into a vehicle described as a dark gray, late model KIA Sorento SUV with another man inside and fled. Two other offenders were also seen running away from the residence.

The victims, a 68-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man, reported missing jewelry and cash.

The offenders were described only as men wearing black colored medical grade facemasks and sunglasses.

Detectives believe the couple were victims of a ruse entry burglary, in which an offender distracts victims by pretending to be a worker or a neighbor. While the victims are distracted, another offender or multiple offenders enter the home to take valuables.

Ruse burglaries also have been reported in Clearing and Garfield Ridge in the last couple of years.

Sheriff’s Police offer the following tips to help avoid becoming a victim of these types of burglaries:

  • Talk through the door.
  • Do not let anyone you are not expecting into your home.
  • If the person says he or she is a utility employee, call that agency to verify that an employee has legitimate business at your home. Do not use the phone number the person at the door gives you.
  • Note any vehicle information: license plate, make, and model of the vehicle.
  • Call 911 immediately if you encounter anyone suspicious. Anyone with information regarding the burglary is asked to call Sheriff’s Police detectives at (708) 865- 4896.

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