Evanston Police are reminding people to be on guard against ruse burglars after two elderly residents were robbed of wedding bands and other valuables by men who pretended to check the home’s water pipes.
The burglary occurred Thursday around 2:30 p.m. at a home in the 1500 block of Seward Street, according to the police report.
The first subject went to the home’s back door and told the residents, who are 82 and 71, that he was there to check their water pipes, according to Cmdr. Jason Parrott. The residents let him into the basement, where he distracted one of them. In the meantime, two more men came to the door and distracted the other resident.
One of those men then went through the home and stole items, including wedding bands, a class ring and a wood crucifix. The total value of the stolen items was about $1,200, Parrott said.
Evanston gets about six to eight of this style of ruse burglaries a year, Parrott said. They’re common throughout the Chicago area.
“They prey on the elderly,” he said.
The pattern is for crews to target elderly residents after profiling their home. They’ll then show up and talk their way into the house. Often they say they’re from a utility and sometimes carry walkie talkies or wear uniforms to look more official. However they never carry official ID on them.
Parrott urged residents, and particularly those with elderly neighbors, to report any suspicious vehicles in the area along with their license plate numbers.
The men in this burglary were described as Hispanic, thought Parrott said it’s a common mistake for suspects to be described as Hispanic when they’re actually of European descent.