NEWS RELEASE #: 17-012 - JANUARY 13, 2017
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning residents after a recent distraction burglary in Sarasota, about the common but preventable crime this time of year.
Deputies were called to a residential burglary on Thursday around 4:00 p.m., in the 2200 block of Mission Valley Boulevard in Nokomis. According to the victims, they were approached by two suspects claiming to be with a landscaping company hired by neighbors to cut down trees near the property line. While the suspects led the victims to the rear of the property, security footage from a neighbor's house captured a third suspect enter the victims' home where they later discovered cash missing from their bedroom. At least two of the suspects are described as Hispanic males in their 30's who communicated via walkie-talkie before being driven away by the third suspect in a silver SUV. Anyone who may have had contact with these suspects or have any information about their whereabouts is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.4900.
Here are a few helpful tips to prevent this crime of opportunity:
- If a stranger knocks on your door, communicate with the door closed. Distraction burglars often use an open door to talk themselves inside your home.
- Keep windows and doors locked at all times.
- Set your home alarm every time you leave, even if it's just for a quick walk.
- Be observant and report unfamiliar or suspicious people loitering around your neighborhood, knocking on doors or sitting in vehicles.
- Become familiar with routine home service providers that your neighbors use including landscapers, pest control or pool cleaners.
- If something seems suspicious or if you need assistance escorting a stranger off your property, contact law enforcement immediately.
Tmeliness is key in making a report so deputies can respond while people are still in the area and verify who they are and why they are there. The sheriff's office can be contacted by dialing 9-1-1 or via the non-emergency number at 941.316.1201. More information about distraction burglaries and traveling thieves can be found at www.SarasotaSheriff.org and on the agency's YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/SarasotaSheriff.