Collier homeowners fall victim to distracted burglaries

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NAPLES, Fla.- In one week, four homeowners from North Naples to Golden Gate have become victims to what Collier County detectives call a distracted burglary.

“They’re goal is to lure them out in to the backyard, either to discuss tree trimming, a fence, or property line,” said Sgt. Drew Dunn, with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

A Naples Park homeowner who fell victim says two men posing as fence installers managed to trick him on Thursday.

“They wanted to know where the survey stakes were.”

While he was distracted, another thief went into his home and grabbed nearly $15,000 worth of jewelry.

“We can’t say exactly who is going to show up, or with what vehicle they’re going to be in, or if they’re going to be white, Hispanic or black. But what we are saying is, if it feels suspicious, and they’re trying to lure you, that’s the common denominator,” said¬†Dunn.

The scammers also hit a woman’s home in Golden Gate, claiming to be¬†tree trimmers.

Detectives aren’t sure¬†if the burglaries are random or if the victims are targeted, but the crimes aren’t violent. The suspects¬†seem to be focusing on elderly people who are home alone during the day. Authorities believe the suspects are traveling around the state, in May similar crimes took place in Southwest Florida¬†and detectives were able to link them to other counties.

Dunn¬†reminds residents to¬†“get the best description of these individuals as you can. Don’t go outside, don’t try to get a vehicle description or confront them, but just from inside the safety of your home and then immediately notify the sheriff’s office.”

Detectives are currently processing all the evidence collected as the investigation continues.

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