The Brown Deer Police Department will use this blog to provide residents with current crime information and trends, crime prevention tips, as well as pertinent news, legal updates, and notes as it relates to your community and Police Department. E-mail the department | Police Department's Web Site
What is distraction burglary?
Distraction burglary is defined as: “Any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on an occupant of a dwelling to gain, or try to gain, access to the premises in order to commit burglary”. Victims tend to find that they have had money and/or valuables stolen and in many cases will only realize that they have been victims some time after the offense has actually been committed.
Who are these people?
The perpetrators of distraction burglaries are often known as ‘bogus callers’. Although the vast majority of people who come to your door will be for legitimate reasons, there have been recent incidents where “bogus callers” have successfully entered people’s homes under false pretences and stolen from them. The perpetrators of distraction burglaries are often highly organized, work alone or in pairs, and operate under false pretenses. Some of these may include:
Utility Company Personnel Door-to-Door Sales People Contractors Builders & Gardeners
In most cases those who come to your door for legitimate reasons will carry a company ID and relevant paperwork. Most will wait patiently and be willing to answer any questions regarding their visit.
Preventing distraction burglary
1. When someone knocks at the door stop and think: Are you expecting anyone? If someone is claiming to be from a company remember to ask what it is they are there for.
2. Always ask for an ID or any associated paperwork – get them to pass these through the mailbox if possible as at this point you should still have your door closed.
3. If you have any doubt you should call the company they say they are from. Never call the number given by the person at the door. Instead find a number using another source (i.e., Internet, phonebook or directory assistance).
4. Ensure that your back door is always closed when answering the door, those intent on gaining access to your property may be working in pairs. While one distracts you at your front door the other may be trying to enter your property via the back.
5. Never keep large sums of money in the house – use a bank or other financial institution.
6. Keep valuables and items of sentimental value where they are not easily accessible. The use of a small safe might be appropriate.
7. Keep documents containing personal details out of sight e.g. passport, utility bills, bank statements etc.
8. Make sure you keep your keys in a safe place and not on display.
9. When to call the police:
- If you are suspicious or feel that the person may be bogus.
- If someone forces entry or enters your home without permission.
- You notice valuables or money have gone missing shortly after someone has visited.
- Whenever you think a crime has been, or is about to be, committed.
**** Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t have to open your door. ***