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Getting your attention, then your money

Burglars use distraction in Westminster
Posted: 6:53 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-19 18:55:06-04

They're retired now, and Edwin Hull and his wife spend most of their time keeping a picture perfect yard along Hook Road in Westminster.
    
When a man showed up claiming workers were prepared to fix a crooked utility pole in their backyard, Hull never suspected that he was the one who was really crooked.

"He had some sort of... not a loose badge here, but some sort of something sewn on the shirt,” said Hull, “I think he mentioned BGE, but I don't know that he said he worked for BGE."
    
While the bogus utility man held Hull's attention in the far corner of the lot and his wife worked elsewhere in the backyard, it appears an accomplice entered their house through the front.

"She saw somebody walk off the porch and get in the vehicle and leave rather quickly of course," said Hull.
    
The next day, the Hulls discovered about $300 in cash missing, and police learned the same two men had used a similar ruse a few blocks down the street that same day to rip off one of their neighbors.

"They were last seen in a black, SUV vehicle and the one suspect who approached the people in the yard was described as a white male, approximately six foot, dark haired, dark complexion.  The second subject was a shorter male... heavy set," said Tim Brown of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
    
Looking back on the recent burglary of his home, Edwin Hull says the distractor also carried a piece of equipment that made him seem like a real utility worker at the time.

"He carried a walkie-talkie on the shoulder here,” Hull said motioning to his chest, “so it was crackling back and forth.  They were talking.  Talking to a construction crew or something you expect, but obviously, he was in communication with the person inside."
    
A criminal blessed with the gift of gab that just keeps talking until his partner in crime can rip you off and then, simply walk away.

"He said, 'Goodbye' and 'God Bless' and everything else,” said Hull, “He walked up the remainder of the driveway."

To better protect yourself from distraction burglars, police say keep an eye out for anything suspicious in your neighborhood, don't let anyone into your house and if you're going to meet with a utility contractor, ask them for their identification and verify that with whatever company they represent.