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Posted on: March 24, 2017

Safety Reminder: Tips to recognize and avoid a Ruse Burglary


The Village of Lombard is reminding residents that if a person claiming to work for the Village of Lombard asks to gain access to your home without previously booking an appointment, you could be a victim of a Ruse Burglary in progress.

A Ruse Burglary is when one person makes contact with a homeowner, claiming to work for a utility company and distracts the homeowner by asking them to accompany them into the basement or into the backyard in order to check on a safety related matter (gas leak, water pressure, electric issue, etc.). While the homeowner is distracted, another person enters the home to steal items.

The Lombard Police and Public Works Departments are providing residents the below warnings in recognizing a Ruse Burglary attempt:

  • Lombard employees will wear Lombard uniforms, will present identification cards, and will drive marked Village of Lombard vehicles. If approached by someone who is not operating with these items, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Suspects may also pose as tree trimmers, electricians, plumbers, etc.
  • If the Village requires access to your water service inside of your home, residents will ALWAYS be notified ahead of time and an appointment will be made. Do NOT allow someone into your home if you are unaware of a problem before their arrival.
  • Residents are urged to be vigilant and to dial 9-1-1 immediately if someone should come to your door unexpectedly and request to come into your home, or request that you leave to accompany them into your backyard.
  • Suspects performing a Ruse Burglary can receive a phone call that causes them to leave abruptly. This is a red flag that a Ruse Burglary might have occurred. Dial 9-1-1 immediately. If possible, write down a description of the person and their vehicle, including a license plate number.

The suspect of a recent incident in Elmhurst is described as “female, possibly Hispanic, in her mid-30's with a heavy build and long brown hair. The woman wore khaki pants, a tan shirt, and was holding a notebook.” The suspect requested that the resident escort her into the basement to check an issue with her water. After several minutes in the basement, the suspect received a call and abruptly left in a gray sedan. The victim’s bedroom had been burglarized by a second suspect, while she was in the basement with the first suspect.

If you are approached by someone matching the above description, or experience any of the above warnings, please take caution and dial 9-1-1 immediately. For more questions about Ruse Burglaries please call the Lombard Police Department at (630)873-4400.

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