A disturbing trend has developed over the past several months in Connecticut and law enforcement has seen an increase in distraction burglaries and home invasion robberies. None of these more violent crimes have occurred in Greenwich, but the potential does exist.
According to Greenwich Police, criminals have targeted elderly victims and usually involve two or more suspects who impersonate workers associated with tree companies, water companies or public utility companies to gain the cooperation of the victims. The suspects impersonating these workers wear some type of fraudulent identification around their necks and may even use walkie-talkies to communicate with other suspects. There are some common characteristics to be watchful for:
· The suspects using the tree cutting scheme attempt to lure the victims out of their house to show them trees on the property as another suspect enters the unlocked residence and rips off the victim.
· In the utility company scheme the suspect attempts to gain access into the home and have the homeowner follow them to a remote part of the house, at which time another suspect enters the residence and steals items while the homeowner is distracted.
· Several of the incidents where the victim had not cooperated with the suspect ended in the victim being assaulted and a home invasion occurring.
Be wary of any stranger coming to your residence unannounced and no matter what; do not open the door until you have confirmed their identity. Do not hesitate to call the police if unsure of the person or the situation.