Police from multiple departments have issued a warning to residents urging them not to answer the door for strangers in wake of a recent home invasion in nearby Oak Lawn.
"The days of answering your doors to strangers are sadly gone. Please don't answer your doors to strangers," the department wrote on Facebook.
The warning comes after police in Oak Lawn said an elderly resident was targeted in a home invasion earlier this week by a group of people pretending to sell candy.
Authorities said the incident happened around 6:10 p.m. Wednesday in the 4600 block of West 105th Place.
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The homeowner answered a ring at her doorbell and was met by a female wearing what appeared to be an orange or red coat "posing as if she was selling candy," Oak Lawn police said in a release.
At that time, a male wearing a white T-shirt over a blue hoodie armed with a handgun forced his way into her home, knocking her to the ground, authorities said. As she was held on the ground at gunpoint, a second male entered the home and the three people began ransacking it, according to police.
The group then fled the scene with a fourth person driving a white Kia Optima. They were last seen traveling west on 105th Place toward Cicero Avenue, police said.
The elderly woman suffered minor injuries during the incident.
The group was seen on surveillance images in the area, according to police, who released photos of the suspects (below) involved and the alleged getaway car. The estimated ages of the suspects were not immediately released by police.
Following the invasion, multiple departments issued warnings to residents.
Midlothian Police Chief David Delaney, in a community alert, said the department "advises all residents to be cautious when answering the door for unknown subjects."
"If you have not requested any services and an individual approaches your door for soliciting purposes, we ask that you contact the Police Department immediately so we can identify the individual(s)," Delaney said in a statement. "Any solicitor in our Village is required to obtain a permit for solicitation and we also do criminal background checks on every solicitor. Please do not let any unknown solicitors into your home unless they have been vetted or you have specifically requested for a vendor to come to your home."
Crestwood police also urged residents to be cautious when answering doors.
"Speak through your door or doorbell camera to them to ask what their purpose is," police said. "Even as inocent [sic] as selling candy, it may be an attempt to rob you be cautious. Please call police if you have any suspicions of someone at your door that may not be who they say to be. If you see something, say something."
The departments noted that a recent community alert about an investigation in the Midlothian area was not connected to Oak Lawn and later determined to be unpermitted solicitors.
Oak Lawn police said they are searching for the suspects responsible for the home invasion.
"We ask anyone who can help to identify the pictured offenders to contact the Oak Lawn Police Detective Division at (708) 907-4051," Oak Lawn police said in a release. "Tips can also be sent via text to (708) 613-8477 and video can be shared at Oaklawn-Il.gov/camera-share."
As of Wednesday morning, no one was in custody.