Crime Prevention Tips
Distraction schemes are becoming more and more common in South Florida. Criminals use various distraction techniques to lower your guard or divert your attention from what is really happening. There are a number of different schemes that we have experienced in Boca Raton in the recent past, such as:
- The resident answers a knock on the door and finds two men dressed like workers, wearing a construction hat, vest, and carrying a clip board. They tell the resident there is a problem with the power in the area and they need to check the electrical panel in the home.
- Two men at the door tell the resident they are roofers doing work in the area and noticed broken tiles on the roof. They offer to show the resident the damage and will repair it inexpensively.
- A “worker” knocks on the door and tells the resident there is a problem with the water in the neighborhood and he needs to check the water in the home. The worker follows the resident into the kitchen and “accidently” sprays a solution on the resident’s hands. Seemingly very concerned, the worker urges the resident to remove their jewelry and wash their hands before the chemical can burn.
In each case mentioned above, the resident became a victim of a crime when an unseen accomplice entered the home while the resident was distracted by the contact person. Criminals use ever-evolving techniques to separate you from your valuables. The examples detailed above are only three of the numerous variations used.
So how do we protect ourselves from this type of crime?
- Always keep your doors closed and locked, even if you are at home. This is especially true of the garage door. It does not matter if you are working in the yard or going in and out of the home, an open door is an open invitation. By keeping your doors locked, you control who can enter your home.
- Never open your door to strangers. Rather, identify the person by looking through your peephole or from a side window, letting your presence be known, and that you are not going to open the door. This puts the person on notice that there is someone home and that they are being observed.
- It is extremely important to report any solicitors or suspicious persons to the police immediately. Knocking on doors is a technique used by those looking to break into homes, as well as those intending to use distraction to perpetrate their crime. By calling the police, you can help prevent a crime and catch a criminal.
For additional information on the various types of distraction thefts, contact the Boca Raton Police Services Department Crime Prevention Unit at 561-347-3938 or visit www.BocaPolice.com.
For more crime prevention tips, please visit the topics listed above under safety/crime prevention.