Mineola (WALK) - A string of so-called "distraction burglaries" in Nassau County recently has led police to issue an alert.
Authorities say the criminals have been posing as a utility employee, surveyor or contractor and approaching homeowners at their residences. They'll engage the homeowners in conversation and divert them into an area of their home or yard, so they can't see a second criminal enter their home and steal their property.
Nassau Police say that homeowners can take several steps to avoid becoming victims:
- Make sure your doors and windows are locked even when you are at home.
- Set your home burglar alarm system every time you leave your house even if it’s for a short period of time.
- Lock valuables in a safe and don’t leave cash and jewelry in a conspicuous place such as the bedrooms, kitchen, or counter.
- Ask for proper identification of individuals before you allow them onto your property or into your home, especially if you are not expecting anyone. Any utility employee will have photo identification.
- If you are unsure of a person’s credentials, contact the agency they are claiming to be affiliated with and ask if they have employees working in their area.
They also advise that any suspicious activity should be immediately reported by calling 911.
The latest distraction burglary happened in Valley Stream Monday night, when a man posing as a water company employee convinced an elderly couple to go into their basement with him while an accomplice stole cash on another floor of the house.