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Police in Ohio warn residents about 'distraction burglaries'

Posted at 5:41 AM, Dec 27, 2019

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Police in northeast Ohio are working together to catch the people responsible for multiple "distraction burglaries" during the month of December.

On December 19, two women were burglarized when intruders posed as family friends and utility workers to enter those homes.

Detectives classified the break-ins as "distraction burglaries" — a robbery where one person distracts the homeowner while another thief enters through an alternate door.

One of the December victims was 103-years-old.

The elderly homeowner told police a man came to her door last Thursday and acted as if he knew her.

He gave her a hug and pretended to know her family, then made his way inside the home.

After the man left, the victim noticed multiple items missing from her home.

Police say elderly homeowners are often more trusting of people they don't know, which makes them an easy target.

"You should always be worried about when somebody's not wearing a vest or have an ID with them," Lieutenant Mark Palmer said, "If they're not driving a vehicle that says they're with a water company, gas company, electric company, be curious."

On the same day, a similar situation took place in nearby Bay Village.

A male told a woman he needed to enter her home to check her waterline. While they were checking the waterline, another thief burglarized the home.

Police urge anyone with information on either crime to contact the Rocky River Police Department or the Bay Village Police Department.

This story was originally published by Emily Hamilton on WEWS in Cleveland.