Thieves distract seniors in home burglaries

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

Betty Bradford, 86, told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh she was duped by a burglar disguised as a cable company worker.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County police said a series of burglaries targeting seniors are once again on the rise, and thieves are getting away with thousands of dollars in jewelry.

The most recent report came from an 86-year-old Stone Mountain woman.

"Well, I was just scammed. That's all there is to it,” said Betty Bradford.

Bradford shared her story with Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh so it doesn't happen to anyone else.

She said she had just returned home after a trip to the library when a man approached her in her front yard claiming he worked for a cable company.

"He wanted to look in the back yard, because he said his company was able to improve reception," she said.

Police believe while Bradford was out back, while a second person went through her front door. She said she didn't realize it until she opened her jewelry box later that night.
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"It was empty,” she said. "It was the things I had for 60-something years, you know, like my engagement ring."

Gwinnett County police call them distraction-style burglaries. Police said since August, there have been eight incidents targeting seniors. Five unfolded in Gwinnett County, one in Dekalb County and two in Cobb County.

Different law enforcement agencies are working together to try and track down a possible ring of suspects.

"The suspect descriptions are a little off. We could be dealing with two or three or even four people. We have also seen at least four different vehicles,” said Cpl. Jake Smith with the Gwinnett County Police Department

"Usually, I always try to be polite to people, but this has taught me a lesson," Bradford said.

Police said if you encounter a similar situation, suggest that someone else is inside your home. They said if someone shows up unannounced claiming to be from any company, it's OK to call police to check it out first.

If you have any information on these suspects, contact Gwinnett County police at 770- 513-5000.



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