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Distraction schemes target homeowners

Boca Raton, FL – Last weekend, officers with the Boca Raton Police Department investigated three different incidents involving distraction schemes.

The first two occurred within a very short time of each other Saturday afternoon. At about 1:30, the victim in the 2600 block of NW 37th Street heard a knock on her front door. She spoke to a short, dark-skinned male through a window next to the door. The male told her he was working on her neighbor’s yard and wanted to show her what would impact her property. The victim went to put on a coat and when she returned to her front door the male was getting into a maroon station wagon and drove off.

About thirty minutes later, a resident in the area of 1100 SW 18th Street answered a knock on his front door. A heavyset Hispanic male about 40 to 45 years old was standing there and spoke to him about doing work on his roof. The resident and his wife went outside into the back yard with the suspect who drew their attention away from their house. The suspect had a hand held radio with him and at one point spoke into it saying, “Don’t cut the trees right now, it’s too windy.” About ten minutes later the suspect left and when the resident went back inside his home, he realized it had been burglarized. The victim said the suspect had tattoos on his arms and legs.

The third incident occurred at about 2:45 at 555 NW 4th Avenue. The resident answered a knock on his door from a white male in his late 40’s claiming to be there to spray for pest control. The suspect told the residents to wait on their patio while he sprayed, explaining where he was going to be spraying. The suspect spoke into a cell phone saying, “It looks like it’s going to rain. We better not do the job today.” The resident looked through the sliding door and saw two unknown males leaving the bedroom and condo. The suspect left quickly. Nothing was taken.

Crimes like these are far too common in South Florida. We encourage people to remain vigilant and not allow strangers in their home. Any legitimate worker(s) will have identification and have it clearly displayed. If anyone has information about these incidents, they are asked to call Detective James Giumenta at (561) 338-1303 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-8477.