Police say distraction style burglaries are connected

Police say thieves have stolen jewelry and thousands of dollars from homes across central Pennsylvania. Victims say they strike in broad daylight, and even appear to be friendly. But police say they distract their victims while an accomplice invades homes.

From Ephrata to southern York County and Carlisle to Lebanon… police say it’s happening across the area. Victims say people, who say they work for a tree trimming or contracting company knock on the door then direct your attention to the backyard until they get what they want.

“It shot my nerves,” said Shirley Swam, a victim.

Swam lives in Shrewsbury, York County. She says a woman knocked on the door and wanted to help her with her bushes so she followed her to the backyard. She got suspicious when she saw a man in her kitchen through her back door.

“We turned around and I said, “I got to go in,” and then this man come out of my kitchen and flew in the drivers side of the car and she flew and got in the other side of the car and they flew,” says Swam.

The thieves stole $1,000 and jewelry in early August. Wednesday, police say a similar incident happened in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County. Thieves stole cash and jewelry. People who live nearby are shocked.

“Pretty safe neighborhood. We had uh maybe a year a go a little bit of kids breaking into cars but other than that it’s been relatively safe since ’87,” says Cory Blouch, who lives in South Londonderry Township.

The same day, the same thing happened in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County. The victim says a hispanic man claimed to be installing a fence for a neighbor. He distracted the homeowner while an accomplice rummaged through closets inside. Police are urging people to be vigilant.

“Question people that you don’t know that come up and start talking to ya. Don’t believe everything they say and don’t believe the purpose that they’re there,” says Lt. Gary Seefeldt, from the Lower Paxton Township Police Department.

So far nobody has been arrested in connection with these crimes. Anyone with information is asked to call their local police department.


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