Fake tree trimmers strike again, stealing from elderly residents
MENTOR, OH (WOIO) -
On Thursday, October 10, 2013, the Mentor Police Department responded to an aggravated burglary at the home of an 81-year old man on Forest Lane. This is the same residence and victim involved in a distraction type burglary on September 30, 2013.
In the previous incident, a female knocked on the elderly resident's door asking if he needed tree trimming. She escorted him to his back yard while speaking on a cell phone. A home health aid arrived to find a male in the house. The male and female then quickly left.
It was later discovered that they had stolen cash and valuable coins from the victim's bedroom.
Today, the same female knocked at the door again. The elderly male did not initially recognize her and allowed her in. After going to the back patio, he recognized her as the same female involved in the burglary. She attempted to force him to stay seated in a chair, but he was able to get up and go back into the house.
As he was checking his bedroom, he received a phone call and instructed the caller to call the police. The female then ran out of the house and left in a gray or silver van. Nothing was discovered missing.
This is the fourth incident in Mentor within two weeks involving a female offering tree trimming services to elderly residents. The second incident occurred on October 1, 2013, on Broadmoor Road. An 82-year old resident was outside when she was approached by a woman. She walked the resident to the back yard and spent five to ten minutes with her there. The suspect was speaking on a cell phone while in the back yard.
A neighbor saw a male exit the house, and both suspects then left in a van or SUV. The resident discovered that coins and jewelry were missing from her bedroom.
The third incident happened on October 9, 2013, on Bellflower Road. A 77-year old woman was outside when an SUV pulled into her driveway. A female passenger got out and asked her about tree trimming services. She asked the resident to go into the back yard with her. The resident told her that her son would be arriving soon. The female suspect then immediately left in the SUV.
The female has been described as light skinned, race unknown, in her 20's or 30's with long, dark hair and thin build, approximately 5'2" tall. She and may have an accent when she speaks. She is also described as having bad teeth.
The male is darker skinned, Caucasian or possibly Hispanic, in his 40's about 5'8" tall with a stocky build.
The two vehicles that have been seen are a white/cream or silver colored newer looking small SUV. The van that was seen is described as gray or silver with no markings, and it may be a minivan.
The incidents in Mentor closely match several reported in Willoughby, Parma, Parma Heights, and North Royalton in the last few months. In each case the female suspect spoke to the victim's about tree trimming.
Neighbors should always look out for each other as these suspects are particularly targeting senior citizens. It is also notable that these suspects, as well as many burglars, will steal valuables from the primary bedroom in the house. It is recommended that any such valuables be kept in a safe, hidden place in your home and not in your bedroom. If a thief enters a home and is not able to find valuables to steal within a few minutes, they are likely to leave empty handed to avoid being caught.
If anyone sees these suspects or has information regarding these crimes, please contact the Mentor Police Department at 440-974-5760. If the information requires an immediate police response, dial 911.
Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:37 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:37:37 GMT
Two Mid-Michigan grandparents may finally get a chance to visit their grand kids in spite of a parent's objection. Local grandparents, Robert and Judith Porter, have been suing for the right to visitMore >
Two Mid-Michigan grandparents may finally get a chance to visit their grand kids in spite of a parent's objection.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:31 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:31:28 GMT
Three teens are reported to have been killed after leading police on a high speed chase in a stolen vehicle. The accident happened on I-75 in Detroit over the weekend. Several news outlets report a 17-year-oldMore >
Authorities have released the names of three teenagers who were killed when their stolen Jeep went off an embankment and crashed upside down in Detroit.More >
Thursday, April 24 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:43:18 GMT
Police investigating the disappearance of a mother from her job at a western Michigan gas station nearly a year ago are issuing a fresh appeal for tips in the case. Norton Shores police Chief Dan ShawMore >
Police investigating the disappearance of a mother from her job at a western Michigan gas station nearly a year ago are issuing a fresh appeal for tips in the case. More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:51:53 GMT
The tragic death of a young Saginaw boy has led to a lawsuit against a local medical examiner. Elijah Dillard, 6, passed away in March. Police say it was the result of child abuse and his father is facingMore >
The tragic death of a young Saginaw boy has led to a lawsuit against a local medical examiner. More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:57:36 GMT
Authorities are investigating a deadly plane crash. Officials tell TV 5 a small plane went down Saturday afternoon in a field in Shiawassee County. Two people are confirmed dead. Officials are still onMore >
Funeral arrangements have been set for one of the two Mid-Michigan men who died in a plane crash over the weekend.More >
Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.More >
The federal government's move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:24:15 GMT
Authorities say a 31-year-old Detroit woman whose body was found near her dehydrated 8-month-old daughter was stabbed to death.The Wayne County medical examiner's office identifies the woman as CharmanekMore >
Authorities say a 31-year-old Detroit woman whose body was found near her dehydrated 8-month-old daughter was stabbed to death.More >