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Jewelry Thieves Strike Three Homes: Suspects Used Made Up Stories To Make Entrance

This is the time of year that, unfortunately, a group of people known as "Traveling Criminals" leave the comfort and security of their hide-outs located in northeastern states and travel south along the eastern seaboard to prey on innocent victims, usually targeting the elderly. Their usual method of operation is to knock on your door and represent themselves as being from a service related business like roof repair or driveway sealers, lure you away from your front door around to the back of the house to "inspect" your damage. While you are distracted with the one person, the rest of their crew goes into your house and steals whatever they can carry. Sometimes they go so far as to find a story that will get you to invite them into your house and then while one distracts you, the others wander through your bedrooms and steal money, jewelry and other valuables that they can conceal on them.

Since Dec. 20, about $30,000 in jewelry has been stolen from three homes here in Palm Beach County using techniques similar to the ones I described to you. In two instances, the suspects said they were checking electrical damage from the hurricane and circuit breakers. In these incidents three men knocked on the door and said they needed to inspect the breakers. While the husband took one suspect to the garage while the others stayed in the living room with the wife and insisted that she watch television while they inspected the house and instead, rummaged through the bedrooms taking valuables.

In another incident two people knocked on a door, and a woman asked for a glass of water. As the male resident escorted the lady to the kitchen, her accomplice took $3,000 in jewelry from a bedroom where his wife was asleep.

These are just two examples of how the Traveling Criminals operate. The members of the Jupiter Police Department want you to be aware of this activity and to take steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this type of crime.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
  • First…Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know.

  • Second…Never let anyone you don’t know into your home.

  • Third…If someone comes to your door and says they are there to provide a service for you that you did not order yourself, Call The Jupiter Police Department…Immediately. Do not let these people in your home for any reason and do not let them wander around your yard. Just say no, close the door and call the police.

If you follow these simple guidelines you can reduce the possibility of becoming a crime victim and losing your valuables.

Copyright © Officer Rick Hubbard, Jupiter Police Department. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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