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What is a “Ruse Burglary” ?

Ruse burglaries are crimes in which the offender uses a “ruse” to distract their victim in order to commit a burglary.  This crime is commited by offenders generally travelling in pairs. One offender uses a ‘ruse’ to
distract the victim, while the other offender enters the home to search for and steal cash, jewelry and
other items. Ruse burglaries occur when victims are physically present at the home and distracted by
a ‘ruse.’




Offenders use common storylines such as the following:

      • Offering to repair gutters, fences or tree trimming and landscaping
      • Blacktop, seal-coating or driveway repair
      • Inquiries about the homewoner’s water supply or water pressure
      • Informing the homeowner there is an electrical problem outside of the home
      • Repairing unilock pavers
      • False statements about problems with the neighbor’s house
      • Questions about homeowner’s property lines
      • Inquiries about homes for sale in the neighborhood/area
      • Posing as a Village/City Worker who needs to check out the property
      • Posing as a solicitor/marketing sale person

Safety Tips:

      • Do NOT allow anyone in your home unless you know them personally or it is a scheduled appointment
      • If a solicitor comes to your residence, take notice of the vehicle they are driving (make, model, color, type) as well as their attire and physical characteristics
      • If you choose to speak with a solicitor or utility worker, never leave your front door unlocked or unattended
      • A legitimate utility or government worker will never object if you ask for ID
      • You may verify with the utility company or local government agency if the individual was sent to your residence
      • Install safety cameras outside of the home to help detour those individuals


If you feel you were the victim of a ruse burglary or if you have seen suspicious vehicles and/or subjects apporaching neighbors, please call the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 847-549-5200 to report these incidents or call 9-1-1 if the incident is in progress. Please be ready to provide as much information such as offender’s physical characteristics and vehicle description.