Chicagoland: Police say criminals luring seniors out of their homes so others can burglarize it

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CHICAGO, IL – Police in Chicago are warning the public that criminals are posing as water department employees and stealing whatever they can get their hands on.

At this time, the police have not been able to identify any of those responsible. 

The 24th and the 20th police districts in Chicago have had four recent reports of unknown men coming to the home of elderly victims while posing as employees of the water department.

While one of the suspects speaks with the elderly victim, they try to convince them there is some type of water damage outside of the home or in their garage that needs to be inspected.

This is done to get the elderly victim to exit the residence and leave it unprotected while their accomplice waits nearby. If the elderly victim takes the bait, the accomplice enters their home and takes whatever they can of value.

Chicago Police have received reports of these types of crime since December 15th of this year. While four reports of this type of activity does not seem like a crime trend, law enforcement stresses that these are the only ones reported – but it does not mean there are not more.

Often elderly persons are targeted because criminals believe they are quick to trust and slow to realize they have been victimized.

Any delay in reporting the incident to police lessens the chances of recovering whatever items are stolen and identifying those responsible.

When police investigate these types of crimes, they go through the neighborhood and look for any video surveillance cameras that could have captured the suspects and/or their vehicles. Additionally, police check the pawn shops and other secondhand dealers and websites in attempts to locate the property.

If there is a delay in reporting, crucial video evidence and/or property recovery can be lost. Most video surveillance systems only maintain video footage for a specific period of time.

If that video is not captured quickly enough, whatever evidence that may have been captured will be lost forever.

That is why the Chicago Police Department joins other law enforcement agencies and encourage everyone to have some type of video surveillance system installed around their home.

The systems that are available today typically are not cost prohibitive, especially if those systems provide you peace of mind.

Police warn everyone that schemes like these are out there nationwide and are not specific to Chicago. Anyone that approaches your home when not scheduled and say there are affiliated with a company should raise flags.

People can take a couple of easy steps to ensure that the person who is presenting themselves as being affiliated with a company is being genuine, and they are easy. Ask the person for company identification.

Most, if not all, companies provide their employees with some type of badge which typically has a picture of the person on it. If the person does not or claims they left it at the office, tell them to leave and call for law enforcement assistance.

If the person is genuine, they will understand and often wait for police response to prove they are not criminals.

Another way that people can ensure that anyone approaching their residence is not a criminal is by calling the company they claim to represent.

Usually all companies, regardless of size, will have local offices that will be able to tell you if the person you are speaking with really works for the company. Again, if the person is who they say they are, they should be understanding and wait while you verify that they are legitimate.

In all cases, if you are ever unsure of the situation you are in, your local law enforcement should be notified immediately.

Officers will respond and meet with you as well as the other people involved to verify if they are employees or not.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

Siblings save mother from attempted robbery in front of their home in police-defunded Oakland

OAKLAND, CA – A woman in Oakland was the target of a purse snatching until her adult children stepped up to save the day.

 

The incident was reported during the first week of December when a woman was driving her 54-year-old mother home in Oakland, California.

When the daughter, only identified as Jamie, parked the vehicle she was driving and her mother walking towards her front door, a man is seen walking behind her on surveillance video.

As the mother, who has not been identified by police, nears the door, the suspect makes his move by grabbing her purse and attempts to flee the area. Unfortunately for him, the victim’s son just happened to be paying attention, and he jumped into action to help his mother.

The son confronts the suspect on the sidewalk and begins to attempt to wrestle the purse away from him. After briefly going back and forth with the purse, the suspect gives up and begins to run away.

At this point, both Jamie and her brother take off chasing the suspect as he fled to a nearby car that was waiting for him.

The suspect made it into the vehicle and they sped off. Thankfully, Jamie’s mother suffered what was described as abrasions from the incident, but otherwise was reportedly not injured.

Neighbors heard the shouts of the family and were able to call 911 for them. Neighbors also provided video surveillance which was turned over to the Oakland Police Department for further investigation.

At this time, there has been no information released that has indicated if the suspects have been identified or if there have been any arrests made.

ABC7 spoke to Jamie about her and her brother’s bravery in confronting the suspect and protecting their mother. Jamie said that neither she nor her brother thought anything about what could happen to them when they stepped in to stop the violent act from occurring.

Jamie said:

“Sometimes parents get nervous very easily and they don’t know what to do. As the younger generation, we try to protect the elder generation.”

The criminals who are committing these crimes are only concerned with stealing what they want from someone and getting away with it, and that sometimes means that they will hurt whoever is attempting to stop them.

A case in point also happened in Oakland in August of this year when another purse snatching occurred.

In this case, a good Samaritan heard a woman screaming on 8th Avenue and Franklin. When he investigated the screaming, he saw that a group of men was attempting to steal the purse off of a woman.

KPIX news interviewed the man they only identified as Mr. Li. Li said that he first jumped in to try to calm the situation down, however, it got really violent really fast. He said:

“I wanted to calm everyone down…try to deescalate the situation before it got out of hand, but it got out of hand really, really fast…I would never expect something like this to happen in broad daylight with cameras around and a lot of police presence around.”

On surveillance video, Li is seen trying to help the woman and her boyfriend while one of the suspects struck the boyfriend with the gun. As this situation was unfolding, two shots are heard which both struck Li, once in the armpit and leg.

 

Thankfully, Li was not seriously injured in the incident and is expected to fully recover. Li, who says that he does not regret trying to step in and help a stranger, did offer some advice to anyone who may do the same in the future. Think about your safety. He said:

“If you’re getting robbed, think about your safety first, don’t think about your possessions. Those can always be replaced.”

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