Burglary prompts warning of home improvement scams

Baltimore County Police are reminding homeowners to be wary of home improvement scams on the heels of a deception burglary that took place this week in Timonium.

According to police, on April 24 at 4:30 p.m., a woman in the unit block of East Aylesbury Road reported that two suspects entered her home under the pretense of examining her leaky roof.

The suspects distracted the victim, and money and jewelry were later found to be stolen from the home, police said.

The suspects are described as a white male, in his 50s, 5'10" tall, 250 pounds; and a white female, approximately 35 years old, 5'4" tall, and about 150 pounds.

Police are investigating the incident, and are also reminding residents to use caution when dealing with people who approach them about home improvement repairs and maintenance.

Deception burglaries rise during the summer months, police said, and many have similar patterns. People outside their homes can be distracted by one suspect while another enters the home unnoticed to steal belongings.

Victims have also reported that people claim to be inspectors, ask to come in to perform repairs or conduct an inspection, and then take items while inside the home.

Baltimore County Police offer the following tips to prevent deception burglaries:

• Do not allow uninvited repair workers into your home, especially if they want to fix something that you have not noticed is a problem — such as a leaky roof.

• If someone claims to be at your home for an inspection, ask for identification and contact their company prior to allowing them into your home.

• Keep doors locked when possible to prevent anyone from entering your home while you are outside the house.

• Call 911 immediately if someone attempts to enter your home or you suspect someone is attempting a deception burglary.

• Watch for people offering services in your community and make sure to write down a description of the individuals and their vehicle, including a tag number, if possible.

• Police say older residents and those living alone are often targeted — they are asking neighbors to keep in contact to ensure that they are not victimized.

• Always research companies before hiring to ensure that they are legitimate firms with a good reputation.

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