WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Recently other police departments have had distraction burglaries occur in their municipalities, according to Washington Township police.
A common method used by criminals is to approach a residence and pose as a contractor sent by a utility, or even a contractor driving by the neighborhood, police said.
“They approach your door and tell you that work needs to be done on your property. The subject at your door attempts to lure you away from the doorway to show you the problem. Their accomplice then sneaks into your house, while you are distracted. The accomplice quickly canvases your house and takes any valuables they can find. The first actor keeps you occupied until the accomplice gets out of the house,” police said.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited person that comes to your door, police said.
Legitimate employees of utility companies will have credentials showing who they work for. Ask the person to show you their identification. Look to see if the vehicle they arrived in is from a utility company. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or do not believe the person, call the police immediately and an officer will respond to verify the reason why the person approached your residence, police said.
If a random person approaches your house indicating they were working in the neighborhood and observed that your house or property needed some work done, be suspicious. Do not allow them to lure you from your door to show you the problem, police said.
Anyone who is legally soliciting in Washington Township will have a permit issued by the town and ask to see their permit, police said.
“Under any circumstances if you ever feel uncomfortable with a stranger at your door, do not hesitate to call our department for assistance,” police said.
“The elderly are particularly vulnerable to be victimized by distraction burglaries. It’s not uncommon for these criminals to target the geriatric community,” police said.