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August 24, 2022

Ruse Burglary Alert from the Winnetka Police Department
Winnetka Police Officers responded to a home on the 1300 block of Trapp Lane yesterday afternoon for a residential burglary investigation. The homeowner was in their basement and heard noises coming from the first floor. When they checked into the noises, the homeowner encountered a male subject, who, when confronted, stated he needed to show the homeowner a fire in the backyard. While outside with the subject, the homeowner observed a second male subject in the driveway. Both subjects subsequently told the homeowner they worked for the Village of Glencoe and were performing lawn care service at the house next door. The homeowner became suspicious and called the police.
 
This incident is consistent with a ruse-style burglary. Law enforcement has seen indicators of recent ruse burglaries in the northern suburbs. A classic ruse burglary example is as follows: two or more individuals come to your home and purport themselves to be utility workers or contractors. Often, one of the individuals will attempt to draw the resident out of their home by telling them they need to show them a problem in the back yard. This could be something related to phone/cable lines, tree trimming, etc. While the resident is distracted and out of the house, the second individual enters the home and searches for valuables. The individuals may even communicate in code using radios or cell 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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