Deception burglaries hit Dundalk neighborhoods
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:32

Suspects pose as workers to gain home entry

by Nicole Rodman

    While deception burglaries are usually a warm-weather phenomenon, this year criminals are getting an early start.
    The Baltimore County Police Department has notified residents of the dangers of deception burglaries following two recent incidents in the Dundalk area.
    Deception burglaries are usually committed when perpetrators seek entry into a home by posing as legitimate workers.
    Suspects may claim they are with the gas company, water department or cable company.
    They may also seek entry by posing as county inspectors or other government officials.

According to county police, suspects usually target elderly citizens in deception burglaries.
    During such a burglary,  police note, one suspect may distract the victim while the second suspect will enter the house, searching for valuables.
    Two such incidents have occured in the Dundalk area in recent weeks.
    On Jan. 4 at 1:45 p.m., two suspects visited a home in the 1500 block of Delvale Avenue.
    The suspects offered to clean the victim’s gutters and, under the guise of “checking for leaks” inside the house, stole a number of valuables.
    A second incident occured in the 7400 block of Belmont Avenue on Jan. 9 at 1 p.m.
    Suspects posing as county employees told the victim that they needed to check out an issue concerning the neighbor’s fence.
    While one suspect distracted the victim, the other stole items from the home.
    Police describe the first suspect as a 40- to 50-year old white male weighing about 180 pounds, approximately 5’ 7” tall, with dark hair.
    The second suspect is also a white male, age 40 to 50. He is described as 5’ 7” tall, 180 pounds with dark hair.
    Both men were wearing tan or khaki pants.
    Police urge residents to be alert to the possibility of such crimes and to be wary of anyone attempting to gain entry into their home.
    If someone does come to the door claiming to be from the cable or gas company or the government, homeowners are urged to ask for identification before letting them into the home.
    According to Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), employees always wear clearly visible identification cards displaying their name, photograph and identification number.
    To confirm the identity of a BGE employee, customers can call BGE at 800-685-0123.
    Generally, employees of BGE, Comcast or Verizon do not make unannounced house calls.
    If someone does come to the door unscheduled, claiming to be a worker from one of these companies, homeowners are urged to contact the company.
    Likewise, residents should always be wary of visitors seeking entry into their home.
    Police urge anyone who suspects that they are being targeted by a deception burglar to not intervene, but to call 911 immediately.