COLONIE — Police are investigating a distraction burglary and two attempted distraction burglaries.
According to Lt. Robert Winn, a distraction burglary entails a situation where a suspect convinces the homeowners, often an elderly resident, that they have a service related issue in the home and while keeping the homeowner distract, other suspect or suspects steal valuables from the home.
On Dec. 11, between 12:30 and 1 p.m., a resident of Sparrowbush Road fell victim to the crime, Winn said, and two residents of Forts Ferry Road prevented a similar crime from occurring.
In all three incidents, a white male came to the houses and stated there was an issue with either the homeowner’s water or power and that he needed to access the home.
The victim on Sparrowbush Road believed the male was from the Water Department and had to check on a possible water break in the basement. While the victim was in the basement with the suspect, for approximately 15 minutes, another unknown suspect or suspects went through the rest of the house and stole about $4,000.
The same suspect tried the water distraction trick on a homeowner on Forts Ferry Road and although he was able to gain access to the home, nothing was reported stolen. At the second home on Forts Ferry Road, the suspect claimed there was a power issue in the area and he needed to check. That resident refused to exit his home to help the suspect and the suspect left the scene empty handed.
The suspect is described as a white male, standing about 5-foot, 10 inches with a thin build and dark, medium length hair. The vehicle he is driving is possibly a small, silver four-door SUV.
“Residents are urged to be leery of any unsolicited service calls, always ask for
identification, refuse entry or assistance to the person until verification of their authenticity and
always report suspicious persons or vehicles,” Winn said. “Representatives from the Latham Water Department and most reputable service providers are readily recognizable by their work clothes or uniforms, identification cards or badges and marked vehicles.”
Anyone with information can contact the Colonie Police Department at 518-783-2744 or
can anonymously contact the Capital District Crime Stoppers.