Saturday, May 14, 2011

Creep alert: thieves posing as utility workers or tree trimmers target the elderly - Milwaukee, Wl

Regional News Briefs - JSOnline

Police are warning homeowners to be cautious about opening the door to criminals posing as utility or home improvement workers.

Since the beginning of the year, at least four burglaries have been reported in Milwaukee, and one in Wauwatosa, involving two men teaming up to steal items during daylight hours from homes of elderly residents who live alone.

In the scam, one man goes to the door, posing as a utility worker or someone offering home improvement services, such as tree trimming, said Milwaukee police Lt. Ray Gibbs. Once the man talks his way inside the house and distracts the resident, a second man enters, either through the same door or he finds another way into the house.

Then he rummages for cash, jewelry and other easily grabbed items in places where people tend to hide valuables, Gibbs said.

Most of the burglaries were on the south side, he said.

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