Darien, Stamford And Greenwich Residents On High Alert; Police Advise Vigilance

DARIEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Some of the most vulnerable people in our society are being victimized.

The elderly, some suffering from dementia, have been preyed on in their own homes, CBS2’s Lou Young reported Friday.

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Thieves have been targeting the elderly in the affluent suburbs, ransacking homes in Fairfield County while the homeowners have been distracted. Victims told Young the robbers sometimes claim to be utility workers.

One Darien resident said the man at the door claimed to be from the Aquarion Water Company and needed to check their pressure. The resident kept an eye on the man not realizing he wasn’t alone.

“In most of our cases we’ll see one person who has contact with the resident, while a second or third person will enter the residence while they are distracted,” Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron said.

It’s happened three times in one neighborhood alone in recent weeks. Trusting victims told Young what they lost.

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“I had the money and lots of jewelry. Five rings,” one woman said.

“It’s horrible — people taking advantage of the elderly. They’re so kind. It’s awful,” resident Jeff Glick added.

The distraction robberies have picked as the summer advances. Victims have been hit in Darien, Stamford and Greenwich. Neighboring towns have alerted residents to be aware because they could be next.

“We’ve told our residents to be alert, be vigilant to any susicous behavior, and suspicious contractors coming to the house,” New Canaan Police Capt. John DeFederico said.

Police suspect this spree could be the work of the same gang and the water company cover story could be running it’s course. Other victims have reported robbers claiming to be from the power company and a tree-trimming service, Young reported.

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In some of the cases the robbers have had official-looking identification cards on lanyards. Police said that it’s always best to check with the company’s home office by phone before allowing anyone into your home on an unscheduled visit, Young reported.