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CrimeTracker 15: Men Distracts Homeowners While Accomplice Robs Home

UPDATED Tuesday, December 13, 2011 --- 12:06 p.m.

Press Release from the Beloit Police Department:

The Beloit Police Department is sending an alert to citizens regarding acts that appear to be targeting the elderly.

On 12/09/11 at 2:23 pm two male subjects described as Middle Eastern or Italian descent posed as City of BeloitWater Resource employees to gain access to two elderly women’s home. Once inside the suspects drew the attention of the women that something was a foul with their water. A third suspect, unseen, apparently went through the house stealing items such as jewelry. The suspects wore baseball hats with a red C on the front. An incident also occurred on 11/29/11 with possibly the same suspects.

During the 11/29/11 incident, they were seen driving a silver or light blue minivan with unknown registration and the suspects discussed trimming trees with the victim. The victim was also elderly and nothing was stolen but the suspects stayed in the house for several minutes.

Anyone coming to your door on behalf of the City of Beloit will have proper identification and will display it. If citizens did not summon the workers to their residence, the individuals are most likely up to
no good.

All suspicious persons and/or vehicles should be reported immediately to the Beloit Police Department
through the Rock County 911 Communications Center, 757-2244 or 911.

NOTE: The cases below are similar, but it is not confirmed that the are related to the Beloit case.

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UPDATED Monday, November 28, 2011--9:10p.m.

"It would appear that whoever is committing these crimes is seeking out older people and going to their homes and maybe preying on their sense of thinking that they're working with a legitimate person," said Joel DeSpain, the public information officer for the Madison Police Department.

Police are urging residents to be on the lookout after recent, similar burglaries in Madison and Middleton. "They've kind of hit the Milwaukee area and now theyre hitting the Dane County area," said Detective Jessica Quamme, of the Middleton Police Department.

In both cases, men appearing to be Hispanic or Middle Eastern--and with heavy accents--showed up at residents' homes saying something about trees needing to be trimmed or cut down on the residents' property.

In both cases, they were able to lure the residents out of their homes--and that's when others came in and stole property.
"Appears to be several hundred dollars worth of jewelry was taken from this woman's jewelry box in this last case we had," said DeSpain.

Police say there have been other, similar cases in other Wisconsin communities. But at this point, they don't know for sure if it's the same group of people committing the crimes, or multiple groups with the same mode of operation. "One particular guy, the one that came to Middleton, he has been mentioned more than once in some of the other reports that I've read from other agencies," said Detective Quamme.

Police are encouraging residents to be wary of unexpected people showing up and saying there's a problem with your property or trying to get into your home.

"Just don't let them in your house," said DeSpain. "Call the police; let us deal with it."

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Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 --- 1:45 a.m.

A man distracted a homeowner in Middleton while another man robbed her home. A similar crime happened in Madison the same day. Here are both incident reports:

**From the Middleton Police Department:**

SUBJECT:
Residential Burglary

INCIDENT DATE/TIME:
November 19, 2011 @ 3:39pm

LOCATION:
3300 block of High Rd, near Century Avenue

On November 19, 2011, a burglary occurred at a residence on High Road in the City of Middleton. The suspect is described as a Hispanic or Middle Eastern male, in his 40’s, 5’6" tall and of average weight. The suspect was last seen wearing a sweatshirt and a baseball cap. The suspect is further described as speaking with a heavy accent. The suspect was driving a gray, older model, boxy style station wagon.

The suspect made contact with the victim at her residence and stated that there was a tree in her back yard that needed to be cut down. While examining the tree with the victim, the suspect was continuously on his cell phone.

While the victim was in the backyard with the suspect, another suspect entered the home through the front door and burglarized the home. The victim stated there were other passengers in the vehicle when the suspect first made contact at the residence, so there may be more than two suspects. The suspect who made contact with the victim never entered the victim’s residence.

Please contact Detective Quamme of the Middleton Police Department, (608) 824-7320, if you have had similar burglaries or have any more information on the suspects.

**From Madison Police**

Incident Type:
Residential Burglary

Incident Date:
11/27/2011 - 12:21 PM

Address:
Gettle Ave.

Suspect(s):
Male, Hispanic, 25-30 years old, with a heavy accent.
Male, Hispanic, 25-30 years old, with a heavy accent.
Both possibly connected to a dark SUV.

Victim:
Male, age 77, Madison
Female, age 73, Madison

Details:
When two fast-talking men came to their door on Saturday afternoon, November 19th, a west side couple said they were confused about what the unwanted solicitors were talking about. The 77-year-old man and his 73-year-old wife ended up in the back of their home with the strangers as the men – speaking in thick accents - attempted to explain something about the residents' trees needing to be trimmed. The men eventually left.

Yesterday, the motive for the visit became clearer when the wife discovered many pieces of her jewelry missing. The couple now believes a third person entered their home and stole the valuables while they were outside dealing with the two men. They said the time of the crime was around 4:30 p.m. It was around this time they also noticed a dark colored SUV parked across the street from their Gettle Ave. home.


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