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Grandmother’s ‘Safety First’ Actions Help Cops Bust Alleged Serial Burglars

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The Miller cousins are charged with residential burglary. (Credit: Chicago Police)

The Miller cousins are charged with residential burglary. (Credit: Chicago Police)

Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago grandmother has broken up a burglary ring that police said hit hundreds of victims, many of them elderly.

In this CBS 2 original report, Suzanne Le Mignot talked with the quick-thinking grandma about how she stopped them.

It was a good thing that 82-year-old Annette Etchingham locked her doors—otherwise she may have been a victim, too.

Cousins Vinnie Miller and Vinny Miller have been charged with attempted residential burglary and criminal trespass to real property.

On Monday, police say a man working with the Millers, who is still at large, came to Etchingham’s front door.

He told her the apron to the ramp going from her garage needed to be painted with tar.

“I was confused by it,” said Etchingham. “I said, ‘Who do you work for?’ and he said, ‘I work for the city.’”

The man had a radio with him, making Etchingham think he was someone official.

“I didn’t stop to think, let me see your credentials,” she said.

The grandmother of 19 says the man appeared to be ready to walk into her Avondale neighborhood home.

But she told them to go though the gangway, saying, “I don’t allow anyone to go through my house.”

Etchingham spent a short time with the man. He kept talking on his radio.

Sources say that’s when the Millers went up to the porch and tried opening the front door, not knowing Etchingham locked it.

At the same time, 14th District tactical officers patrolling the area, saw the Millers running and arrested them.

“I just thank God that the police are patrolling our neighborhood,” Etchingham said. “They were here when I needed them.”

After the Millers court appearance on Wednesday, their families declined to talk, only making obscene gestures.

Attorneys also had no comment.

Etchingham says she’s sharing her story, because she doesn’t want any other seniors to be victims.

Anybody who may have been a victim of the Millers crime spree is asked to call police.

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