Catch a Ruse Burglar Before They Steal from You

The Orland Park Police Department compiled a guide of recent scams burglars have pulled to get access to houses, and how residents can avoid their schemes.

Following the arrest of six men accused of posing as contractors to burglarize houses in Orland Park and Palos Park, local law enforcement offered tips to know ruse burglars and how to stop their schemes before they can succeed.

Submitted by the Orland Park Police Department:

“Ruse burglary” is a term used by police to describe burglaries that occur when criminals attempt to distract a person or people while in their home so that an accomplice can enter from another door to steal cash, jewelry and other items.

If a solicitor comes to your residence, prior to answering the door, attempt to locate and remember what kind of vehicle he or she is driving (make, model, color, type). Further, make a mental note of the person’s attire and physical characteristics. If you do choose to speak with a solicitor or utility worker, be sure the other doors in your home are locked and/or attended.

Police are reminding residents not to allow strangers access to their yard, home or garage and to call 911 to report suspicious people asking for access to their home.

Below is a list of story lines offenders are using:

  • Inquiries about the homeowner’s water supply or pressure
  • Offers to repair gutters/fences or tree trimming and landscaping
  • Blacktop/driveway repair
  • False statements about problems at the neighbor’s house
  • Inquiries about homes for sale in the neighborhood
  • Utility Worker-They will say they are from the gas, electric, water, or cable company. They will tell you that they are there to check on meters or boxes due to some fault or problem. They will use a “Fear” tactic and say that you or your house might be in danger of fire or destruction due to the problem.
  • New Neighbor- They will say they are a “NEW” neighbor and they want to show you where they are putting up a fence, drainage pipe, or some type of major construction. They want you to come outside so they can show you where the new fence, drainage pipe, or some type of major construction is going to be.


Tips to Prevent Ruse Burglaries

  • Demanding to see identification of people who claim to be village or utility workers
  • Refusing to accompany strangers to your backyard unless you are positive it is a legitimate request
  • Denying strangers access to your home
  • Calling police if a stranger seems suspicious
  • Checking with neighbors to stay informed about activity in your neighborhood
  • Check on elderly neighbors to make sure they are safe
  • Call 911 to report any suspicious person(s) or activity    

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