Albany PD warn public of frequent distracted burglaries

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police are investigating a burglary scam in which the suspects have been targeting older residents.

Officials say on Thursday, October 15 at 11:20 a.m., officers responded to a home on the 400-block of Delaware Avenue for a report of a possible attempted distraction burglary.

When officers arrived, the victim, an 86-year-old male, told them that an unknown male came to his home, claimed to be from the Albany Water Department and told him he needed to look around the inside of his house. The victim complied and the suspect entered the home, entering many rooms including the basement. The suspect left without any proceeds.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5’6”, 200 lbs. with dark hair. He was last seen wearing a dark colored coat and glasses.

On Wednesday, November 25 at 1:00 p.m., officers responded to a home in the area of Federal Street and Summit Avenue for a report of another distraction burglary. When they arrived, the victim, an 88-year-old male, told officers that an unknown male came to his home and claimed he was there to speak with the resident about the home’s foundation. The victim let the suspect inside the home and during the course of the incident; the suspect fled the scene with property belonging to the victim.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5’8”, 170 lbs. and approximately 50-years-old. He was last seen wearing a maroon colored jacket.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Police Detective Division at (518) 462-8039.

The Albany Police Department would also like to remind members of our community about the following safety tips in reference to distraction burglaries:

  •  If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it.
  •  Always check the identity of the person by calling the company they claim to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or sent to you by your service provider. Do not use any    telephone numbers provided by the caller, as they may be bogus.
  •  If a builder or tradesman offers to accompany you to the bank so you can withdraw cash to pay them, don’t accept.
  •  Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
  •  Ensure that if you do let somebody in to your home, you close the door behind them – distraction burglars often work in teams, where one will distract you while others sneak in through the insecure door.
  •  If you suspect a distraction burglar is at your door, call 911 immediately.

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