Suspects in SUV targeted Polk Co. homeowners in distraction thefts

Investigators in Polk County want you to be on the lookout for a group of people going around distracting homeowners and then stealing from them.

The sheriff's office posted about two cases with similar circumstances. The first was on Wednesday in Lakeland. A homeowner was lured outside by a man he says wanted to talk to him about his roof. According to investigators, the suspect had a hand-held radio that would notify two other suspects that the coast was clear.

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Once they got their signal, those other two suspects would go into the home, where they reportedly stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

The second case was Friday in Lake Wales. The homeowner was lured outside the home by a man who said he wanted to talk to him about trimming his trees. Again, a hand-held radio was used to notify the alleged accomplices that the coast was clear. And once it was, they went in and again stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

“These distraction thieves are crafty, but we will catch them,” promised the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page.

In both cases, the man who lured the resident out of the home was Hispanic. And in both cases, the suspects were in what appeared to be a newer model white Dodge Durango.

If you have any information about these cases, or if this happens to you or someone you know, call the sheriff’s office at 863-298-6200.