The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is asking residents to be on alert for burglars posing as door-to-door solicitors.
By claiming to be a solicitor, a burglar gains the ability to easily get up close to a house to determine whether anyone is home. It also gives him a viable excuse to provide if anyone is home.
Deputies say this ruse is becoming more prevalent across Florida, including in Collier County. CCSO is advising residents to be cautious about such visits.
Deputies believe there are active groups using this strategy in Collier County to determine whether homes are occupied and if they are not occupied, these groups are committing burglaries.
There are many story lines offenders will use, including that they are selling Bibles door to door.
CCSO offers these tips to avoid being scammed by a ruse burglar:
If a solicitor comes to your residence, prior to answering the door, take notice of and remember what kind of vehicle they are driving (make, model, color, type). Further, make a mental note of their attire and physical characteristics.
If you become uncomfortable speaking with a solicitor, decline what they are offering and close your door. Then contact the Sheriff’s Office at 239.252.9300.
If you see suspicious vehicles and/or persons knocking on your neighbors’ doors or ringing their doorbells and then leaving, call 911.
Click here to watch a CCSO video about ruse burglars.