Police arrested five men they say worked together to distract and rob an 87-year-old Barrington Hills woman.
On April 30, the five-person group police referred to as a “ruse burglary crew” rang the woman’s doorbell and tried to lure her outside using ploys such as seal-coating the driveway, working on construction on an adjacent property and landscaping her backyard, according to a news release from Illinois State Police.
When the woman went to the back of the home to look at the landscaping, the remaining men broke into the house and stole about $60,000, the release stated.
The woman became suspicious and asked the crew to leave when the men began to question if anyone else was home. As she called 911, she saw two men running from her bedroom and out the front door, according to the release.
As officers approached the home, they saw the offenders fleeing the front door running from the backyard, the release stated.
Arrested in connection with the burglary were Beatle Miller of Arlington Heights; Walter Miller of Mount Prospect; Tom Miller of Arlington Heights; Anthony Miller of Des Plaines; and Alan Ely of Mount Prospect.
Each man is charged in Cook County with residential burglary.
According to the release, a “ruse burglary” occurs when a victim is confronted at their home and distracted by a suspect who uses a ploy or “ruse,” while other suspects enter the home to steal cash and other valuables.
Common ploys include acting as a municipal official checking on water services or trimming trees near the homeowners’ property, according to the release.