Chicago police alert residents to burglaries targeting senior citizens

Suspects pose as Water Department employees to lure elderly victims out of their homes

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A team of thieves has come up with an elaborate new plan to target the elderly in northern Chicago this month, the Chicago Police Department said in a notice to residents on Tuesday. 

Two to three suspects will approach a senior citizen and lure them out of their home by posing as Water Department employees, saying that there is damage to their home or garage. 

Once the victim is outside, other burglars will enter the "home and take purses, jewelry and money." 

A Chicago Police officer monitors the scene after a crime in Chicago, Illinois, on March 14, 2021. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

A Chicago Police officer monitors the scene after a crime in Chicago, Illinois, on March 14, 2021. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Four residents have been stolen from since Dec. 15 in Chicago's 20th and 24th districts. One incident happened on Christmas Eve and another happened the day after Christmas. 

The suspects were described as two to three White or Black males between the ages of 35 and 40. 

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The Chicago Police Department recommends that residents install surveillance cameras, pay attention to suspicious people and cars, call 911 if they suspect anything, and reach out to their neighbors and community members. 

Chicago has also been dealing with a rash of smash-and-grab commercial burglaries in recent months. 

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In Chicago's 20th district, where some of the burglaries targeting the elderly have occurred, at least seven thefts have taken place at businesses in the last two months. 

Burglaries are down 24% citywide in Chicago this year compared to 2020, but thefts are up 21%, according to Chicago Police Department data.