More ‘distraction burglaries’ reported in Rotterdam

Two reported burglaries follow one from Saturday and three from Colonie last week

ROTTERDAM — Town police reported two more “distraction burglaries” Wednesday and urged residents to remain cautious.

Wednesday’s burglaries happened on Fort Hunter Road and Delmar Avenue, police said. In both cases, the suspects identified themselves as utility workers, either for National Grid or the water department, and distracted the homeowner while a second suspect entered the home.

“Residents are advised to be cautious with anyone approaching residences in this manner and to request credentials of anyone that comes to their home stating they are from an official business or office,” police said.

In the Fort Hunter Road incident, a man approached the home’s front door on Wednesday and identified himself as a National Grid employee, according to police. He said he needed to check the backyard power and property lines and had the homeowner follow him into the backyard, while the second suspect entered the home from the front and stole items, police said.

Approximate locations of the three recent Rotterdam ‘distraction burglaries.’ Note that markers show street locations, police did not identify addresses:

The man who approached the home is described as white and in his 50s with glasses and wearing a blue jacket. The homeowner had no description of the second suspect.

In the Delmar Avenue incident, a tall, thin white man driving a sedan or small SUV approached the home and spoke with the resident at the front door. He then entered the home, saying he was checking on a water main break and needed to go into the basement with the homeowner to check the pressure, police said.

While they were downstairs, a second man, described as short and stocky, entered the home. They also asked the homeowner for a payment, and after they left, the homeowner discovered items had been stolen.

The Wednesday burglaries followed a similar incident on Saturday and three others reported in Colonie last week.

The Saturday incident happened on Putnam Road, when two men in a green pickup truck attempted to sell a resident unsolicited driveway repairs, police said.

Previous: ‘Distraction burglary’ reported in Rotterdam, Nov. 5,  2018

The suspects put down some patching asphalt on the homeowner’s driveway without the owner’s permission, then called the owner outside to show the repairs they could do, police said. While the resident was talking with one suspect, the other went into the home and stole money, police said.

Those suspects are described as a white man with missing teeth and a large-stature black man, police said.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Rotterdam Police at 518-355-7397.

Colonie police reported on their Facebook page that there were three separate distraction burglary attempts in their jurisdiction last week, two in the village and one in Latham.

All three residents in Colonie said a newer white SUV with out-of-state plates was involved in the burglary attempts there.

Colonie police asked anyone with information about those incidents to contact them at 518-783-2754.

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