Men posing as undercover police officers have recently talked their way into two Northwest Side homes and were unsuccessful in a third try, prompting investigators to warn residents of three neighborhoods.
The unknown number of men have shown up at least three times since Saturday, approaching homeowners, identifying themselves as cops while flashing gold badges and wearing police-style radios, according to a community alert issued by Grand Central Area detectives.
The phony cops went to a home Saturday in the 4000 block of North Harding Avenue in the Irving Park neighborhood before popping up twice on Sunday--once in the 4900 block of North Karlov Avenue in the North Mayfair neighborhood , then minutes later in the 5000 block of West Gunnison Street in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, police said.
In the last incident, resident Dorothy Martorano told WGN-TV that she was inside the home caring for her elderly father when a man claiming to be a cop showed up suddenly in her living room, claiming that someone was committing a burglary in her garage.
The fake cop, who had begun rifling through drawers in the home, fled the scene with several other men when a suspicious Martorano picked up the phone to call police.
Members of a special police unit that investigates fake cops said suspicious residents can ask to see an officer's credentials without encountering resistance. Chicago police officers are required to carry their five-point star badges and city ID cards.
They were described as being either white and/or Hispanic, between 18 and 36, between 5-foot-7 and 6-foot-3, and between 140 and 230 pounds. They were wearing baseball caps, zippered gray sweatshirts or black hooded sweatshirts.
The men fled in a large dark red sport-utility vehicle or a navy blue Chrysler Town & Country van.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 312-746-8282.