The Los Angeles Police Department is on the lookout for a distraction burglar who posed as a Department of Water and Power worker Monday afternoon in Brentwood and allegedly stole valuables from one home.
According to Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray, between 3 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7 at a home in the 600 block of South Bundy Drive, a man, posing as a DWP worker, distracted the victim while a second, unseen suspect removed cash and silverware.
Witnesses describe the DWP worker as a white man, with brown hair, unknown eye color, 5'7'' and approximately 175 pounds, approximately 40 years old and wearing a blue work uniform. The man also reportedly had acne.
Gray distributed a public note Wednesday about how you can protect yourself from a distraction burglar:
If you’re not sure who the person is behind your door, don’t open it! No one said you're obligated to open the door. If in doubt do keep them out, particularly if you're on your own. Ask them to make an appointment or come back later when someone is around.
If the "con" is so convincing, call a neighbor or friend nearby to come along and check the perimeter of your home, or check on the visitor before opening your door.
If you are successfully lured outside of your home, make sure to lock the door behind you. Most importantly, make sure all entryways leading into your home are locked as well. This includes doors, windows, and the garage.
Keep your doors and windows locked, even when you are at home
Are you expecting anyone, do they have an appointment? Make sure
the back door is locked as some thieves sneak in the back while you
open the door
Put the door bar or chain on before you open the door and use a
door viewer or entry system to identify your caller.
Check their identity carefully. Ask for an ID card.
Before letting them in, check their identity using the phone number
from the phone book or a relevant bill, not the one on the card.
If you’re unsure about the nature of one’s visit, DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! Genuine callers won't mind. If you are suspicious, report the incident to the police. You may stop someone else being burgled.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and demand answers. Distraction burglars rely on you being trusting and not the kind of person to offend someone. The distraction burglary can bring an overwhelming result. Victims can lose their peace of mind and confidence, not to mention valuables and possessions.
Be wary every time you open the door, and most importantly, be safe!
If you see anything that you feel is suspicious, but not an emergency, go to www.alertcommunity.com. It allows citizens to document suspicious activity quickly, easily, and anonymously.