Baltimore, MD - Feb. 25, 2021 - Deception Burglary is a type of crime that involves individuals who attempt to enter homes through deception or diversion. This is a scenario that we see played out more and more frequently. Seniors are sometimes targeted, but all citizens need to be aware of this crime and how it is perpetrated.

Here are some examples of how this type of crime is executed:

The suspect knocks on your door or approaches you while you are outside working on your yard, washing your automobile, etc. He or she claims to need your help or offers to do construction or maintenance type work outside your home. This offer requires you to accompany the suspect to look at your roof, fence, check property lines, etc. While the first suspect is diverting your attention outside, a second suspect enters your home and steals money, jewelry, and other valuables before you return. It may be days before you realize you have been victimized.

Another scenario involves the suspect(s) inquiring about the purchase of an item that you have displayed outside for sale, (e.g., car, boat, camper trailer, etc.). The first suspect will distract the homeowner while a second suspect enters the home and steals your valuables. The suspect sometimes agrees to purchase the item to get you more interested (or in this scenario more distracted) and agrees to return with the money. For obvious reasons they never return.

A similar scenario can also take place inside your home. The suspect will come to your door claiming to be a representative of a utility, cable, telephone company, etc. They will ask you to let them in to test the service. While you are assisting the first suspect who you believe to be a legitimate representative, the second suspect enters the home and steals your valuables.

In all three of these scenarios the suspect diverting your attention will usually stay in contact with the second suspect by cell phone or two-way radio. This way the suspects can alert each other of potential problems that would jeopardize the success of the crime.

Report any suspicious individuals or activity by immediately calling 911. If you can take note of license tag numbers, vehicle descriptions, or suspect descriptions without putting yourself at risk, it can be helpful to responding officers.

If you have been victimized by this type of scam or have any questions or concerns about this document contact the Baltimore County Police Department’s Community Resources Team, Officer Bryan Dietsch, 410-887-5901.