Wilmette police warn of ruse burglaries targeting elderly residents
Recent reported burglaries that used diversions and targeted senior citizens caused the Wilmette Police Department to issue a crime alert Tuesday, Nov. 17.
According to the alert the department took two reports since Nov. 7 that followed a similar pattern, a pattern that matched incidents reported in neighboring communities.
In both instances, an alleged offender told the victim of a “water problem” and was let inside the home to check the water, the reports state. After the individual left, jewelry and cash were reported missing from each home.
Wilmette police advised residents to avoid letting strangers in their home without an appointment and allowing strangers to lure you out of your home. Also, the police warned, ask for identification, make not of any suspicious activity and report the activity immediately.
The first burglary occurred at 3 p.m. on Nov. 7, when a subject in a construction vest approached a house in the 2400 block of Lake Avenue.
The subject reportedly told the elderly resident he had to check her water and proceeded into the house. The victim called police after the male subject left to report stolen jewelry from the master bedroom.
She reportedly described the offender as a stocky, man in his 20s between 5-6 and 5-10 with a tan complexion.
The second similar incident happened a week later at 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the 3500 block of Greenwood Avenue.
In this report, an elderly male victim reported to police that a subject directed him to the backyard to “show him a water problem” and then the subject said he needed to go inside, where he sat with the resident in the living room while two other subjects were inside the home.
The resident saw the other two men leave and the first subject immediately follow. Jewelry and currency were discovered missing from a bedroom, the report says.
The reported offenders were all described as white males, one of them short (5-6) and bald with a medium.
Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319