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Oak Lawn Man Charged in Palos Park Ruse Burglary

Suspect was picked up in traffic stop in Oak Lawn, sheriff's police say.

A 43-year-old, Oak Lawn man was arrested after he was identified as a possible suspect in a residential burglary in unincorporated Palos Park.

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The Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced burglary charges against Sonny Miller, of Oak Lawn, on Tuesday.

According to the sheriff’s police news release, around 12:40 p.m. Jan. 30, a man wearing a white hard hat and carrying a tan shoulder bag with a fluorescent stripe knocked on the door of a house in the 12000 block of Newport Drive in Palos Park.

Police said the man, identified as Miller, began yelling about an electrical emergency in the area and that he needed to check the outlets.

When the 87-year-old woman opened the door, Miller, who was holding a yellow electrical tool in his hand, led her to the kitchen, police said.

Miller instructed the woman to turn the appliances and light switches on and off, police said.

The doorbell rang and Miller told the woman that it was his partner and he had to leave.

Police said after Miller left, the woman discovered that the dresser drawers in her bedroom had been opened and that some costume jewelry was missing.

Officers called to the scene combed the area but could not find any suspects. During their investigation, Cook County Sheriff’s detectives were able to identify a suspect.

The Illinois State Police Ruse Burglary Unit arrested Miller during a traffic stop in Oak Lawn on March 1.

Miller appeared in court on Sunday where he was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart offered the following security tips to avoid becoming a ruse burglary victim:

  • Ask for workers’ identification before opening the door.
  • Ask what company the person works for, and call the company to verify the person’s identity and reason for business before letting that person inside your home.
  • Call the city, village or utility to verify a worker’s identify if the individual says they are a city, village or utility employee before letting the worker inside.
  • Note any vehicle information – license plate, color, make and model of the vehicle.
  • Call 911 immediately if you encounter anyone suspicious.

The Oak Lawn Police Department also offers safety talks for senior groups, including ruse burglaries and phone scams targeting the elderly. For more information contact Det. Tom Cronin, senior liaison, by email at tcronin@oaklawn-il.gov; or by phone at 708-499-7845.

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