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Police Warn of Distraction Burglaries: Suspects Posing as Utility Workers and Salespersons

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Detectives from the 2nd District Investigative Section are investigating two distraction burglaries during which the suspects posed as utility workers to gain entry into the homes.  Detectives believe that these two burglaries are related.  Detectives are also investigating a distraction burglary during which the suspects posed as salespersons claiming to be selling and installing pipes; police have obtained photographs of suspects using this victim's stolen credit cards.

  • On May 26 at approximately 4:30 p.m., the 78-year-old victim was working in the backyard of her residence, (located in the 10000 block of Forest Grove Drive in Silver Spring), when a female suspect approached her and discussed installing new pipes in the home.  The female suspect left in a hurry.  It was not until the next day that the victim realized that her credit cards had been stolen from her home.  The credit cards were fraudulently used in various stores in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C.  Store surveillance captured a male and female suspect.
  • On June 4 at approximately 3:00 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 4000 block of Adams Drive in the Kensington area for the report of a burglary.  The 89-year-old female victim told police that a female suspect knocked on her door and said that she was working for the power company and wanted to check the home’s meter.  The suspect stated that the victim needed to accompany her to the back yard to show her where the location of the meter was. While the victim was talking to the suspect, the victim noticed a red vehicle that was parked in front of her residence; a person was sitting in the front passenger seat.  The victim allowed the suspect to enter her residence and the suspect and victim then exited the residence through a rear door.  In the backyard, the suspect showed the victim various “issues” with her meter and said that she needed to speak to her supervisor in the red car and would be right back.  The suspect then went back to the red car and the victim went back inside her residence. The victim noticed that items had been removed from her house. When she looked outside, the red car was no longer parked out front.  It is probable that the second suspect entered the home while the female suspect was distracting the victim in the backyard.
  • On June 12 at approximately 4:36 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 11500 block of Cushman Road in Rockville for the report of a burglary.  The 84-year-old female victim told police that a female suspect, claiming to be with the power company, asked to enter her home to check the power meter.  The victim allowed the suspect to come into the home while a male suspect, wearing what appeared to be protective construction clothing, came to the door.  The male suspect told the female suspect and the victim that he was ready to turn off the power and then returned to an older model, red/maroon sedan.  The victim went to other parts of the home in an attempt to locate the meter and left the two suspects alone.  The victim was unable to locate the power meter and returned to find that both suspects were gone.  She then realized that items had been stolen.

Information provided by the June 4 and June 12 burglary victims led to the following description of the suspects:

The first suspect is described as a white female, 5’06 tall and 110 pounds.  She has thin, long brown hair and fair skin.  In one burglary, she wore her hair in a ponytail.

The second suspect is described as a white male, 5’06” tall and 180 pounds.  He has medium-length brown hair, facial stubble, and light skin.

Police remind residents that all utility workers should carry proper identification.  If a worker is unable to provide proper identification, do not allow him or her to enter your residence.  Additionally, you may verify information with your utility companies before allowing an employee into your home.

Police ask that residents be mindful of senior family members and neighbors, who may be more vulnerable to these types of scams.  Report all suspicious activity to police.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information about these burglaries or the suspects involved to please contact the 2nd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6710 or the police non-emergency line at 301-279-8000. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or enter a tip online. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

Photos of Male and Female Suspect Using Victim's Credit Cards Stolen During May 26 burglary:

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Release ID: 15-189
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases