The Collier County Sheriff’s Office cautions residents to be aware distraction burglars are again at work.
These criminals generally target senior citizens by deceiving and distracting the victim. They typically pose as tree trimmers, appliance repair workers or contractors pointing to a problem with a roof.
The most recent incident occurred Wednesday in North Naples.
A 73-year-old victim told deputies that a man she did not know knocked on her door around 1 p.m. wanting to speak to her about a fence that he said one of her neighbors was installing. He led her to the back yard where he talked about the fence. The man took several phone calls and spoke very fast.
After about a half hour the man said he had an emergency and abruptly left.
The victim went back inside her residence and noticed the garage door, which had been closed, was now open. She checked the residence and discovered several items were missing, including cash, jewelry and silverware.
Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate the man.
Detectives said the man is described as Hispanic, 50 to 60 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, with black hair and a mustache. He was wearing a yellow polo shirt with a white undershirt. He was driving a newer model crew cab, full-size black pickup with dark tinted windows.
An investigation continues.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 252-9300, or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).
CCSO urges all residents to take certain precautions if there is a stranger at the door.
The CCSO Crime Prevention Bureau offers these safety tips:
* Be suspicious of workers who arrive unannounced.
* Never allow a stranger to come into your house.
* Don’t be rushed into emergency repairs. Discuss the problem with a relative, trusted friend or a reputable business by getting a second estimate and confirming the problem.
* Do not provide deposits for work before work is started.
* Do not pay the service until all work is complete and correct.
* Ask for identification and call the company. When calling, have the employee wait outside of your residence and use a number from the phone book and not a number given to you by the worker.
* Always notify CCSO if persons are going from door to door trying to sell you a service or a product, even if they appear to be legitimate. Let deputies confirm their occupational license or the validity of their company. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Anyone worried about a suspicious stranger should call 911 immediately with a description of the individual. Don’t put off calling. Deputies need to know what is happening on your street right away.
Watch a CCSO video about distraction burglars: https://youtu.be/riHQEwfhIHo