Public Safety Notice: Ruse Burglaries on the Rise, Resident Tips for Spotting the Scam
PUBLIC SAFETY NOTICE: RUSE BURGLARIES ON THE RISE, RESIDENT TIPS FOR SPOTTING THE SCAM
Ruse burglaries are on the rise in the City of Joliet, reports the Joliet Police Department. Residents can safeguard themselves from this dangerous crime by remaining vigilant and educating themselves on what to look for when approached at their place of residence.
A ruse burglary is committed when two or more individuals work as a team to distract a homeowner (often posing as a utility worker or solicitor) while the other(s) enter the home and steal items of value.
In the current situation, a trio of men are posing as utility workers wearing high visibility/fluorescent vests, gloves and hats with fake credentials and traveling neighborhoods in unmarked vehicles. They are entering elderly residents’ homes stating they are testing water for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. These events are taking place most commonly between noon and 5 p.m. specifically around the Black Road and Larkin Avenue neighborhoods.
Residents can protect themselves and loved ones by keeping the following in mind:
- Any City of Joliet employee will have official City credentials, drive an officially marked vehicle or wear a City-issued uniform identified by the City seal.
- The City of Joliet will notify residents ahead of time if a contractor will perform service near their home and solicitors must acquire a permit from the City. Residents can always call the City of Joliet to verify a contractor, employee or solicitor in their area:
Police Non-Emergency: 815-726-2491
24-hour Public Utilities line: 815-724-4220
City of Joliet Information Services line: 815-724-4000
Residents should always ask for ID when approached by anyone concerning utilities, solicitors (sales) or seeking to enter their home. A legitimate utility or government worker will never object when you ask for identification. Do not let anyone enter your home unless you personally know them or have a scheduled appointment.
Please share this information with your family, friends and neighbors. Information about the coronavirus and your water can be found by visiting the Department of Public Utilities site. Additional public safety tips can be found on the Joliet Police Department page.