Authorities in suburban Lake County are warning residents of a recent rise in so-called “ruse burglaries” in recent months, with thieves distracting homeowners while accomplices rob their properties.
According to a press release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, ruse burglaries have been occurring with increasing regularity during the summer, and authorities are hoping to alert residents to the schemes.
“When these con artists strike, we often see the vulnerable lose valuable keepsakes that have tremendous sentimental value,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said. “Please tell your neighbors, family and friends about these scams.”
According to authorities, “ruse burglaries” occur when an individual, often purporting to be a governmental or utility employee, distracts a homeowner by luring them outside of their home or to a more isolated room. Another individual then enters the home, stealing cash, jewelry and other items of value.
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Senior citizens are often targeted by the crimes, according to authorities.
To avoid falling prey to the thefts, authorities offered the following tips:
-Never allow anyone inside your home without a prescheduled appointment.
-If an individual claims affiliation with local government, ask the person to provide identification, and call the government office to verify the individual.
-Do not exit your home with an unscheduled visitor.
-Keep an extra watch on elderly neighbors and family members.
-Educate relatives and neighbors about the increase in ruse burglaries in Lake County.
Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to police.