CHICAGO (CBS)– An elderly couple on the North Side became the victims of a scam and theft by men who claimed they were there to help, and Chicago police said they are not the only victims.
Police said a group of two to four men is targeting elderly people on the North Side. The thieves claim they are workers who need to conduct an inspection.
Larry Minarik heard his doorbell ring Monday and he said he wishes he hadn’t answered.
“He got my wife’s rings,” Minarik said. “The guy pushed his way in.”
Minarik said the man claimed there was a leak inside his Roscoe Village home and asked him to check something under the sink. Minarik let him into his home.
When Minarik’s wife came home, her jewelry box was open, and some of her favorite jewelry was gone.
“He must have had a fella come in the back because I’m watching all the time, and I didn’t see nobody come in,” Minarik said.
Police said since Feb. 8 they’ve investigated similar reports on West Peterson Avenue, West Wilson Avenue, North Hamlin Avenue and North Ravenswood Avenue.
The Chicago Police Department said, in some cases, the men used force to get inside or to get away with the victim’s property.
“I think that’s probably the most frustrating, probably the most vulnerable people in the world,” North Side resident Marcus Wekemann said. “Sometimes these people don’t have people looking out for them.”
Police said the male offenders are between 25 and 60 years old.
Minarik said the man he met was in his 40s. He suspects a thief saw him outside with his walker prior to the incident.
Police said since Feb. 8th they’ve investigated similar reports at the following locations:
• 5500 block of W. Schubert Ave on February 8, 2019 at 2:45 PM
• 1700 block of W. Thome Ave on February 21, 2019 at 2:55 PM
• 3600 block of N. Ravenswood Ave on February 22, 2019 at 5:45 PM
• 5000 block of N. Hamlin Ave on March 5, 2019 at 5:12 PM
• 1900 block of W. Eddy St on 11 March, 2019 at 2:30 PM
• 5500 block of W. Wilson Ave on 11 March, 2019 at 6:40 PM
• 4400 block of W. Peterson Ave on 13 March, 2019 at 7:10 PM
Police said they took a similar report as recently as Wednesday.