Cedar Rapids police warn of 'creative burglars' casing homes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids police warn of 'creative burglars' casing homes

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The Cedar Rapids Police Department is warning residents about what they are calling "creative burglars" seen in the area recently.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin says they have received several reports of suspicious people they believe are looking for homes to burglarize.

Hamblin says when these people are found in the backyards of homes, they employ the following responses:

  • “I was hired by the homeowner to blow leaves.” (Just last week) When the homeowner said this is my home, the subjects jumped the fence with their leaf blowers in hand and left in their truck.
  • “I am with the power company/cable company/meter reader/government.” Some individuals have been dressed in safety green clothing claiming to be in back yards looking to trim trees or read meters.
  • Subjects are knocking at doors and asking for a random name. They are scoping out the home. If no one is home, they break in. If someone is home, they move to another location.

Hamblin says if you see someone in your backyard or a neighbor's backyard, you should stay at a distance, ask them what they are doing and get a good description, including height, weight, hair, clothing and any vehicle they may get into.

Hamblin also suggest taking a picture with your cell phone if you can.

If the person claims to be with a utility company, look for a utility vehicle they would be driving and ask for identification. 

Hamblin also suggests that you program your local law enforcement agency's non-emergency phone number into your cell phone and call when you see suspicious activity.

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