A Downers Grove family reported $1,400 in jewelry and cash stolen on Friday after a man used a ruse to enter their house, police said.
A $450 diamond bracelet, a $350 heart-shaped diamond earrings and necklace set and $600 cash are missing from the home, according to a police report. The incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. at an undisclosed address on 63rd Street.
The couple that lives at the home said a heavyset Hispanic male wearing a baseball cap and blue jeans came to their door and introduced himself as their new neighbor. The couple let the man in the home, where he stayed for about 10 minutes and then left in an unknown direction.
This is the third ruse-entry burglary incident reported this month in Downers Grove. A Sept. 4 incident involved a female suspect on Candlewood Drive and a Sept. 9 incident involved a male suspect on Valley Forge Place, about 1.4 miles from the Sept. 20 incident.
In each of the incidents, the suspect makes contact with an elderly resident of the home. The Sept. 9 and 20 incidents both involve suspects described as Hispanic males in vans, according to police reports. A heavyset man was seen in a van during the Sept. 9 incident while another man came to the home, and in the Sept. 20 incident, a heavyset man came to the door while another man was seen in a van outside.
Downers Grove police on Sept. 10 sent out an alert warning residents about the ruse-entry burglaries. The man at the 63rd Street home said he did read in the paper about suspects tricking people to get into their homes, so he and his wife decided to check their rooms after the man left.
The couple on 63rd Street talked to the man through the screen door for a few minutes before he stated that he works on fences for a living. He asked if he could come inside so he could show them some work he was going to do on the neighbor's fence behind their home.
"(The homeowner) stated that he then let the subject into the house and the two of them along with his wife went into the kitchen," the report said. "(The homeowner) stated that he left the front door open but that he thought he locked the screen door behind him."
The couple and the man went to the kitchen, located in the back of the home. The man had the homeowner write down a phone number so that he could give it to his other neighbors. The man wore a black glove on one of his hands — he wore it because he broke a few of his fingers, the report said.
The man the left the residence in a hurry, got into the front passenger seat of a gray minivan and left.
AftermathThe couple began to check their bedrooms after the man left. A silver bracelet that was on a computer desk was no longer there. A metal box with cash in a closet was $600 short in large bills.
The pair of heart-shaped diamond earrings and necklace were missing from a dresser drawer in the master bedroom, the report said.
The wife said she did see another man in the driver's seat of the gray van while her husband was talking to the man through the screen door. She also said that when the man in the home left and entered the front passenger seat, she saw yet another man come from around the back of the van and get into the rear passenger seat. She could not provide a description of the other two men.
"I did call the number that the subject left and it's an unassigned number registered to Abbott Laboratories," a police officer said in the report.
A Downers Grove police evidence technician was also at the home to process the scene after the incident.
Downers Grove police urge residents to be cautious when allowing strangers to enter their home. If someone suspicious is at the door, residents should immediately call 911.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There are plenty of ways to keep up on Downers Grove news:
Police Blotter information is provided by local law enforcement agencies. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.