COOK COUNTY, IL – A Justice man has been charged in connection with a ruse burglary after a Cook County Sheriff’s Police investigation found he posed as a water department employee to distract the victim while his accomplices ransacked the home for valuables, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
At approximately 3:15 p.m. on March 13, Sheriff’s Police responded to a burglary call in the 10600 block of Wrightwood Avenue in unincorporated Leyden Township. Upon arrival, officers learned that a man convinced the 89-year-old homeowner to allow him into the home to perform a water test.
While the man distracted the resident in the kitchen, other suspects entered the home and went through the bedrooms. The suspects left the residence with jewelry and then drove away.
Sheriff’s Police observed the vehicle and found the driver, Kevin Miller, 23, of 8000 block of Marion Drive in Justice, alone in the vehicle along with jewelry. The jewelry was later identified as the items taken in the burglary.
Miller was charged with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, on March 15 and was issued a $100,000 D-bond on March 16.
The investigation is ongoing, and the public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.
Offenders in ruse burglaries pose as a contractor, a new neighbor, or a public works or utility employee to distract victims while others enter the home to steal valuables. Residents can help protect themselves from being victimized by these types of burglaries by using the following tips:
- Talk through the door, and don’t let anyone you are not expecting into your home.
- If the person says he or she is a utility employee, call that agency to verify that an employee has legitimate business at your home. Do not use the phone number the person at the door provides.
- Note any vehicle information – license plate, make, and model of the vehicle.
- Call 911 immediately if you encounter anyone suspicious.