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Ruse Burglars On the Move in Oak Lawn

Ruse burglars target elderly victims in two separate incidents after conning way into their homes, police say.

Ruse burglars followed an man home from a hardware store and another pushed his way into the home of a woman in two separate burglary attempts in Oak Lawn.

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Both victims are senior citizens and are not aware if the suspects stole anything from them, but told police the alleged burglars conned their way into their homes.

Oak Lawn police responded to a call of a male Hispanic who forced his way into a home in the 4200 block of West 99th Street at 2:35 p.m. Nov. 2. The man took off with two other men in a dark gray hatchback-crossover car.

The elderly homeowner told police that a man with light brown skin was banging on the side door of her house. When she went to answer the door, the man started talking very fast about power lines being down behind her house.

The homeowner opened the screen door half way and he showed her a cell phone, which needed to be recharged. While the door was still open, the man pushed his way past the homeowner and went upstairs through the kitchen and into the dining room.

Police said the homeowner followed the man where he led her to an outlet. When she heard the side door open downstairs she grew suspicious. She tried to leave the dining room, but the man blocked her way.

The man pushed an ironing board of front of the homeowner to keep her from leaving. She was able to eventually get out of her house, where the man followed her outside.

She saw a dark gray car in the driveway and the man got into the front passenger seat. She went to the driver’s side and while looking at the driver, noticed a third man sitting in the back seat. The car backed out of the driveway and drove eastbound on 99th Street.

Police said the homeowner checked her bedroom and could tell that her closet had been rifled through. A box of bank checks had also been opened. Nothing appeared stolen, the homeowner told police.

The man who came to the door was described as a male Hispanic in his late 40s or early 50s, about five-feet-seven-inches with a heavy build.

Police said the homeowner couldn’t describe the other men in the car, except for that they were all wearing navy blue jackets and pants. The car had temporary plates.

The homeowner had gone out to run some errands and was home for 20 minutes when the man came to her back door. Police canvassed the area but couldn’t find the car.

Ruse Burglars Follow Senior Home

Two male Hispanics also approached an elderly man outside a Burbank hardware store around 4:09 p.m. Nov. 4.

Both men were driving a white van, possibly with a ladder on the roof. The van pulled up next to the senior and told him they had just fixed his neighbor’s roof and noticed that his own chimney and roof needed repair, reports said.

The men followed the senior back to his house in the 4600 block of West 100th Place. The man who had approached the senior asked if he could go into the basement to get a bucket of water.

The senior believed the water was needed to mix mortar to repair the chimney. Police said the senior recalls both men were at his house for about an hour. He doesn’t think the men touched anything inside his house.

The senior never got a good look at the second man, but described him as male, possibly Hispanic, about five-feet-nine, 160 pounds, and approximately 45 years old.

Police said the senior wrote two checks to the men totaling $7,200. Later, the senior went to close his checking account. The bank indicated that the checks weren’t cashed and told the senior he didn’t have enough money to cover them anyway.

Neighbors told police they were home all Sunday afternoon but didn’t notice anything suspicious at the senior’s house.

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David Carrington November 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Burglaries are on the rise and so people must take action to lower the chances of it happening to them. Three of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your property is to reinforce your doors and windows. 85% of burglars come through a door, so first off you should reinforce your entry doors with a door security device such as the Door Security Pro ( http://www.DoorSecurityPro.com ). 15% of burglars come through a window. I would highly suggest adding security window film to your windows. And finally, you need to get some type of personal protection device in case you are ever confronted by a burglar. Pepper spray is a good choice because it's easy to use and it's highly effective.

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