Sunday, May 17, 2009
GYPSY BURGLARS WIDENING SCOPE
We have all heard the term gypsy and an image of an old women reading tarot cards or looking into a crystal balls comes to mind. Maybe, your image is of a traveling carnival worker. No matter which image you conjured it is not applicable to the gypsy burglars that have terrorized Floridians are now heading up the east coast. These burglars are referred to as gypsies because of their transient lifestyle. In some cases these pairs were eastern Europeans of Armenian or Romanian descent. They work in a similar fashion to ancient hunters that followed the large caribou herds. The herds these burglars tend to follow are retirees. The gypsy burglars often reside in the Midwest, Southeast or large Northeastern cities like New York City. Traditionally, they followed retirees that migrated to Florida during the winter months, now they have begun to target new retirement areas such as North Carolina. Areas such as the Triangle have become a great place for retirees to live and a fertile ground for gypsy style burglaries.
Gypsy burglars are stealth in their activities and are adept at changing their appearance into something that you are familiar with. In most instances they may come to your door disguised as a cable service repairman, telephone technician, utility meter reader or some type of repair man that needs to come inside for some reason. It appears that a new trade these crooks are impersonating is the locksmith profession. Many people have seen the investigative news piece done by Cullen Browder on WRAL where he exposed a pair of phony locksmiths impersonating legitimate businesses and price gouging customers. These con artists normally work in pairs. They normally work during daylight hours and target single women or seniors. They especially use this ruse on senior women.
Once inside, one of the culprits draws the unsuspecting victim away to observe something they claim is of high importance while the other individual steals small items of value such as jewelry and small electronics such as I-pods or PDAs. These con artists normally drive vehicles with out of state tags. If you have someone approaching you in this manner don’t open the door. Ask for identification and the company phone number. Call the company and verify that they have someone working for them by that name. Also make sure that the company is legitimate. Look up the main number in the phone book. Keep the number to the Better Business Bureau at hand. If you expect something suspicious observe the activity and report it to the police. The most important thing you can do is to not let anyone inside your home that you have not scheduled to come to your home.