Distraction Burglars Targeting Senior Citizens In Bergen County

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Burglars disguised as utility workers, municipal inspectors and police officers have been targeting senior citizens across Bergen County.

There have been at least 13 incidents in 11 towns since April, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officials said in each case, one suspect distracts the homeowner while another burglarizes the residence.

In East Rutherford in August, so-called diversion burglars posed as driveway repair contractors and made off with about $100,000 in cash from an elderly couple.

Officials are advising residents to always ask for identification, look for vehicles with proper logos and tell whoever is at the door to wait outside while you contact the respective company or agency to make sure they are legitimate.

“Don’t let them in your house,” said Chief Dennis Rivelli. “Trust no one. Get ID, call the police, call the utility companies.”

One senior said she’s not worried about her safety.

“I don’t open the door for nobody, unless I know who is coming,” she said. “Public service never comes when you don’t ask them.”

The victims were in their 80s and 90s.

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