The New Castle County Police are warning residents of the recent "distraction burglaries" that have been occurring in northern New Castle County. There have been three incidents that have occurred in the past two weeks, targeting elderly homeowners.
"Unfortunately, these individuals mostly prey on the elderly as they travel from state to state in groups and burglarize the homes of innocent victims," said County Police Col. E.M. Setting. "We urge our residents to be extremely vigilant as these predators will go door-to-door offering home improvements for low prices or use a distraction method in order to gain access to your residence. We will continue to investigate these incidents until these suspects are apprehended and answer for their crimes."
The first incident occurred on Sept. 12 in the 2600 block of Garfield Avenue in the community of Brandywine Estates. When officers arrived, the victim said that a heavyset white male wearing a vest and hard hat arrived at the home claiming to be a water company employee. Once inside with the suspect, two Hispanic males entered the residence and removed property from the home. Another family member encountered the two Hispanic males as they were exiting the home and then observed the white male leave the area with them on foot.
The next incident happened on Sept. 14 in the 1400 block of Carr Road. This was not reported to police until Sept. 17. When officers arrived, the victim said that a male subject, possibly Hispanic, started a conversation with the homeowner while the victim was outside in the front yard. At that time, another Hispanic male entered the residence and removed valuables from the home. Police learned that a white Chevrolet Silverado was seen leaving the area at the time of the incident.
The third incident occurred Sept. 19 in the 1300 block of Greenhill Avenue in the community of Holly Oak Terrace. When officers arrived, the victim said that two Hispanic subjects in their 20s arrived at the residence and while the female initiated a conversation with the victim, the male subject stated he was going into the home to work on the chimney. During the incident, the victim's possessions were stolen from the home.
The group's most common scam is to pave driveways, seal roofs or paint houses with materials that wash off in days or weeks. They will also act as utility workers or other service employees to gain access to your residence. We advise all residents to request proper identification from these individuals before letting them into your home. As always, residents are encouraged to report any suspicious vehicles and persons to the police immediately by calling 9-1-1.
To offer information regarding these crimes, please call the New Castle County Police Department at 395-8110 (ATTN: Detective D. Graham) or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at www.nccpd.com. Citizens may also provide a text tip at: 847411 (TIP411), begin your message with NCCPD and then type your message. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.