Sent on 9/26/2014 5:00:48 PM
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department Burglary Unit would like to warn the public about a specific way burglars have been distracting their victims. In September, the Sheriff’s Department took two different burglary reports that seemed to be very similar in the way they were conducted. A link between these two incidents has not been established. During the first incident, a homeowner near Oldfather Road and Magee Road answered the front door. He talked to a man who claimed to be a contractor for a local utility company and claimed that some work needed to be done on or near the homeowner’s property. According to the man some measurements had to be taken and together he and the homeowner went to the backside of the victim’s property. The front door to the residence was closed, but had been left unlocked. The suspect had a tape measure, clipboard, and walkie-talkie with him. While taking measurements, he engaged the victim in a conversation. The entire encounter took less than 30 minutes. After the homeowner returned to the front of the house, the man had disappeared. The victim than noticed someone had gone through the house and stole a large amount of cash and jewelry. The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his 30’s and approximately 5’8” tall. The victim remembered the suspect wearing a white shirt with the word “Power” on it. The second incident occurred on Tucson’s Eastside within the Sheriff’s Department’s Rincon Patrol District. In this case, the homeowner answered the door to a man who also claimed to be a contractor for a utility company. This time, the ruse to lure the homeowner to another part of their property was a supposed order for tree trimming work. While the victim was distracted, someone went inside the home and stole jewelry, cash, and several collector’s coins. The suspect apparently used an unlocked sliding glass door to gain entry. The suspect in this case was described as a Caucasian man with an approximate height of 5’8”. He had a grey goatee, wore glasses, a blue shirt, and blue jeans. The victim also remembered a logo with the words “Tree Trimming” on the suspect’s clothing. The Sheriff’s Department would like to remind everyone of a few safety precautions: 1) Always keep your house locked, even if you only go somewhere else on your property. 2) Ask for identification of any contractor and check that their uniforms match who they purport to represent. 3) When in doubt call the main contracting company (i.e. the utility company) and check on the legitimacy of the person at your door. 4) If it still appears suspicious call 9-1-1. Anyone who has additional information regarding these or similar incidents is asked to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.