CHICAGO (CBS)– Thieves, posing as utility workers, are preying on seniors on Chicago’s North Side and the surrounding suburbs.

Police said the suspects are going door to door wearing bright green vests, convincing residents they are utility workers.

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“Over 50 years and I have never had any problems,” burglary victim Rose Woodworth said.

Woodworth has lived in Norridge for half of her life and said she has never had issues like this, until last week when she heard a knock on her door.

“He said to me, ‘I’m checking your water you have a problem with your water,’” Woodworth said.

Woodworth let him in and she said two more men entered her home.

Woodworth’s niece, Laurie Stiles, said a caretaker kept asking the offender to show identification.

She says her aunt’s caretaker started to raise suspicions after realizing the men were making their way through the home.

“They started screaming and yelling at them and he finally ran out,” Stiles said. “It’s scary, it’s very scary. They were terrified.”

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What happened to Woodworth is just one of at least 10 similar cases across Norridge and nearby villages in the last two weeks.


“If you’re not expecting anybody to come to the house, don’t let anybody in,” Norridge Police Sgt. Brian Loughran said.

Loughran told CBS 2 that while one burglar leads the homeowner into the basement or another part of the house, an accomplice raids the bedroom.

“They are not taking TVs, they’re not taking computers,” he said. “They are taking jewelry and cash, stuff they can pawn real quick.”

Loughran advises residents to contact police.

“Call 911, let the police show up. If they’re legitimate, they’re going to stick around,” he said.

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Loughran hosts monthly senior meetings to help keep the community informed on how to be proactive against crime. His next meeting is on April 9 at the seniors assistance center in Norridge.