The Lake County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to be very cautious in the summer months as officials have already noticed an increase in ruse burglaries.
A ruse burglary is when someone uses a distraction to lure homeowners outside their residence while others enter the house to steal valuable items, such as cash and jewelry, according to a Lake County Sheriff's Office press release.
Burglars lure homeowners outside the residence with many tricks, such as "schemes for landscaping services" or "claims of being subcontracted by local government." In some cases, criminals distract homeowners’ attention inside their homes.
Senior citizens are often targeted in these crimes, police said.
"Please tell your neighbors, family, and friends about these scams. Never hesitate to call your local law-enforcement if you see suspicious activity or a suspicious vehicle in your neighborhood," said Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg.
The Lake County Sheriff shared the following prevention tips:
- Only let people inside your home if they have a prescheduled appointment.
- If a person claims to be with a local government agency, ask them for the identification, and call the government office to verify the individual.
- Do not leave your home with an unscheduled visitor.
- Lookout on elderly neighbors and family members and remind them of ruse burglary.
- Inform your relatives and neighbors (especially the elderly) on ruse burglaries increment in Lake County.
- Immediately call 911 to report any suspicious activity.