23 Aug 2014
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Upper Providence Resident Victim of 'Distraction Burglary'

Costume jewelry and a small amount of cash were stolen in the burglary.

Upper Providence Resident Victim of 'Distraction Burglary'

Police are seeking a white man who victimized an 86-year-old Upper Providence Township woman in a "distraction burglary."

The man is described as being about 5-foot, 7-inches tall, between 30 and 35 years old, has brown eyes and dark hair, talks with an accent and stated he was Greek, according to Upper Providence Township Police. The white man was also wearing a blue baseball style hat, a short, dark jacket, white plaid shirt, dark long pants and black shoes.

On Nov. 28 at about 3:45 p.m., a man knocked at a resident's door on the 400 block of Valley View Road and told the woman he was a landscaper and solicited a leaf clean-up at her property, according to Upper Providence Police.

The man stated he was doing a job at a neighbor's house directly behind her property and named that resident.

The man asked the woman to accompany him outside so he could show her what he wanted to do to the property but the woman refused, according to police.

The woman instructed the man to go look for himself and let her know. When the man returned a minute later, the woman allowed him inside where he told her he could do the job for $50 cash, according to police. The resident responded that she did not have cash and pays all bills by check.

The man then calls someone on the phone, saying it was his brother who was working at the neighbor's house and had mistakenly hit a water main and they should check the woman's water pressure, according to police.

The man and 86 year old go into the kitchen, where the water pressure is determined to be fine, however the man then suggests they check the meter in the basement but the woman refuses, according to police.

The man again asks the woman to accompany him outside so he can show her how he will clean-up the property and tells her there is a snake nest in an outdoor fireplace. The woman agrees and follows him outside, according to police.

The two walk to the rear of the property and are outside for about five minutes before returning to the front and he advises the woman he will return the next morning to do the work. The man leaves on foot and the woman returns to her home, according to police.

The 86 year old later told police she thought the man was suspicious but didn't think she needed to call police until after speaking with a neighbor. Prior to police arrival, the woman did not realize she had been burglarized.

Police asked the woman to check her belongings and she discovered $14 from her purse, which was in plain view in the living room, was missing. Her driver's license and credit cards were not stolen and all personal checks were accounted for, according to police.

It was also discovered that small boxes of jewelry in an upstairs bedroom, dresser drawer had been ransacked and much of her costume jewelry was missing, which was of sentimental value, according to police. A white pillow case with a light blue design was also missing from the bedding.

Police informed the woman that once she was lured outside by the man, another person likely entered her residence and stole the items.

The woman did not see a second person or a vehicle in the area during the incident, according to police.

Police spoke with the neighbor who was allegedly having work done by the unknown man and she confirmed that no one was at her residence doing work and she did not know how the man knew her name.

The incident is under investigation.


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