MAN CHARGED IN RUSE BURGLARY
Monday, March 4, 2013
—Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced that a 43-year-old man has been arrested and charged in a ruse burglary that occurred in unincorporated Palos Park.
About 12:40 p.m. Jan. 30, a man wearing a white hard hat and carrying a tan shoulder bag with a fluorescent stripe knocked the door of a house in the 12000 block of Newport Drive. He began yelling that there was an electrical emergency in the area and he needed to check the outlets.
When the 87-year-old woman opened the door, the man, who was holding a yellow electrical tool in his hand, led her to the kitchen. For the next 15 minutes, he instructed the woman to turn the appliances and the light switches on and off. Then the doorbell rang. The man told the woman that was his partner and he had to leave.
The woman discovered that the dresser drawers in her bedroom had been opened and costume jewelry was missing.
Officers were called to the scene, but could not find the man. During their investigation, Cook County Sheriff’s detectives were able to identify a suspect. Based on the Sheriff’s Police detectives’ information, the Illinois State Police Ruse Burglary Task Force arrested Sonny Miller of Oak Lawn, on March 1 during a traffic stop in Oak Lawn.
Miller has been charged with one count of residential burglary. He appeared in Bond Court on Sunday, March 3, where his bond was set at $50,000.
Sheriff’s Police Detectives have been investigating a number of these types of ruse burglaries that target senior citizens. Sheriff Dart offers the following safety tips to help avoid becoming a victim of these burglaries:
- 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.