Warning: 'Distraction Burglaries' a trend in Sarasota County |
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Venice, FL - The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating two home invasions, being referred to as "distraction burglaries," reported in Sarasota county yesterday afternoon. Occuring in Venice and Siesta Key, both incidents followed the same pattern, which the agency has warned residents about in the past. The most recent cases are just another warning to be careful and aware, as similar scams are unfortunately common this time of year.
According to the Sheriff's Office, both burglaries began when a man knocked on the door of the residence and encouraged the homeowners to follow him outside to examine work they were doing that might affect the property line. It is believed that while the pair talks outside, two or three additional suspects entered the home and stole cash and jewelry.
In one case, a suspect also went inside the home with the resident, sprayed what he claimed was a chemical on her hands and convinced her to remove her jewelry to clean it off.
The suspects are described as men in their 40s, one thin, about 5’10” tall and the other heavy set, about 5’7” tall. Both speak fluent English with a mild accent. They may be driving a black or dark blue passenger car or a small SUV.
The Sheriff's Office is reminding residents to never allow any stranger to enter their homes. If anyone asks you to come outside, refuse.
“Polite society cannot tolerate people like this,” said Sheriff Tom Knight, “These criminals don’t think twice about stealing from our citizens so residents should turn them away and not take chances. Someone who is there for honest business purposes will have official company documents that explain the work that is about to be done.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).