Saint Petersburg, Florida – A group of distraction thieves recently struck again in Pinellas County prompting the sheriff's department to issue a warning to elderly residents.
"A suspect approached a homeowner in south Pinellas County," said Cristen Rensel a spokesperson with the sheriff's office. "They identified themselves as a city employee."
While keeping details of the most recent case under wraps due to the investigation, she says the latest incident brings the number of incidents in the county since January to five.
All incidents took place south of State Road 60.
In addition to posing as city officials, they also told victims that they need to inspect a water leak, check property lines or trim trees in the backyard in order to get the victim out of the home.
"Two to three other suspects will then enter the residence and steal things such as jewelry or cash," said Rensel.
A surveillance camera snapped a photo of a black pickup truck that is believed to have been involved in it earlier and it appears that the crooks don't mind playing the part.
"There was a truck that was used… they were saying that they were cutting down trees… that truck actually had brush in the back to make it look as though they were trimming trees."
Here is a description of the suspects in the four previous incidents:
Suspect #1: A Hispanic male in his 40's, with a medium build, a round face, dark short hair and clean shaven.
Suspect #2: A White male, 25-40 years of age, with a heavy build and short dirty blonde hair.
Suspect #3: A Black male 30-40 years of age, thin build and full trimmed beard.
Suspect #4: A female – unknown description
Suspect #5: A White male approximately 25 years of age, 5'10" tall with a slim build, short black hair, brown eyes and black scruffy facial hair.
Suspect #6: A White male, 50 years of age and a heavy build.
Various vehicle descriptions were given to authorities by witnesses:
Vehicle#1: Dark brown, Ford F150 crew cab with a dark brown topper
Vehicle#2: Black small pickup truck (Picture attached)
Vehicle#3: White pickup truck, 2-door, possibly ten years old, decent condition with tree branch debris in the bed
Vehicle#4: White newer model full size pickup truck
Vehicle#5: Small white car with trunk open
Victims of similar crimes are urged to contact Dept. Ken Roberts with the Burglary and Pawn Unit of the Pinellas Co. Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200 or if you wish to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas Co. at 1-800-873-TIPS or www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.
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