EVERGREEN PARK, IL —With the rash of ruse burglaries happening in the south suburbs, Evergreen Park police are alerting elderly residents and/or their adult children to be on the watch for con men posing as utility workers or water inspectors.
Ruse burglaries occur when the perpetrator uses a form of deception to commit a burglary. In many cases, Evergreen Park police said in a safety alert. In many cases, the perps will knock on an elderly resident’s door or approach them in their yard. They’ll pass themselves off as working for the town’s public works or water department, or as utility workers for the “power company.” Sometimes the scammer will hire themselves out for manual labor for such tasks as sealing the driveway, or repairing shingles on the elderly homeowner’s roof.
The ruse burglars will con their way into a homeowner’s residence to check the water or flick the light switches to check the power. While the homeowner is distracted, the ruse burglar’s partners in crime will enter the resident and rummage through the house, especially the bedrooms, looking to steal valuables.
In recent weeks, ruse burglaries have been reported in Oak Lawn, Burbank, Palos Hills and Worth. The suspect told some homeowners that he needed to spray or check the water for COVID-19. The suspects have been described as men in the thirties to fifties, who wear yellow construction-type vests or uniforms.
Police want residents to know that Evergreen Park public works employees will always schedule an appointment by telephone before they arrive at the residents’ home, and arrive in a village vehicle Evergreen Park village employees will always have an ID card visible on their clothing, wearing shirts and vests with the village logo or lettering.