At 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 Wheaton Police Officers responded to a report of a ruse burglary in the 100 block of Mitchell Circle in which four suspects stated they worked for the Water Department.
In this incident, a male suspect wearing a reflective vest approached a resident in their driveway, stating he was from the Water Department and needed to check the resident’s water meter. The resident and suspect #1 went to the back yard. Three additional suspects went inside the residence and approached another homeowner. The suspects said they were from the Water Department and needed the resident to empty everything from under the kitchen sink so they could perform their work. The resident became suspicious about the workers and told them to leave. All four suspects entered a dark-colored Volkswagen SUV with orange license plates and left northbound. The residents subsequently discovered their bedroom had been rummaged through, and approximately $35,000 in jewelry was missing.
The suspects are described as:
- Suspect 1 – Hispanic male, 6' 0", heavy build, 45-50 years of age, dark pants, reflective vest
- Suspect 2 - Hispanic male, 6' 0", thin build, 35-40 years of age, wearing all black
- Suspect 3 – White male, 6' 2", thin build, 35-40 years of age, wearing all black with a black facemask
- Suspect 4 – Black male, 5' 9", heavy build, 45-50 years of age, wearing tan shirt and pants
The vehicle, which is shown in this security camera video, is a dark-colored Volkswagen SUV with orange license plates
The Wheaton Police Department recommends the following to help avoid becoming victimized in a similar fashion:
- Require that workers show identification prior to allowing them into the house or on your property.
- Employees with the City’s Water Division, Public Works Department or other legitimate utility workers will have identification issued by their employer that they can present to you.
- Reflective vests and clipboards are often used by burglars to appear official. Require that they show you proper identification.
- If you are unsure, call the company or City direct and ask for a supervisor to confirm the need for work.
- Avoid using unsolicited workers/companies who claim to be in the area offering discounts.
- Lock your home if you must accompany a worker outside.
- If you are suspicious of any person or need help verifying the legitimacy of a company, call 911 and ask for police assistance.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Lieutenant Conway at 630-260-2079.