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Posted on: June 7, 2021

Crime Prevention Alert: Ruse Burglaries

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The Winnetka Police Department has learned about some recent ruse burglary attempts in the northern suburbs. An example of a ruse burglary: two or more individuals come to your home and purport themselves to be a Village employee, utility worker, or contractor. This usually occurs during daytime hours, and the individuals sometimes wear reflective vests. Often one of the individuals will attempt to lure you out of your home by telling you they need to show you a problem in your back yard. This could be something related to cable/power lines, tree trimming, etc. Alternatively, you may be told there is something wrong with your water pressure and the individual needs to come inside to evaluate the problem. While you are distracted and either out of the house or isolated in another room, a 2nd individual will enter your home and search for valuables. The individuals may even communicate in code through radios or phones.

To prevent this, when someone knocks at your door, don’t open it unless you know your visitor. View the person through a door viewer/peephole or window. Ask who the person is and what they want. If the person is a legitimate utility worker or contractor, ask to see identification. All Village employees have ID cards. Have the person slip their credentials through the mail slot or view them through the window or door viewer/peephole. If the person does not provide identification, do not open the door. If you have concerns or questions about the legitimacy of the person at your door, call 911 immediately. 

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