The Marion County Sheriff’s office is investigating two residential burglaries that occurred in Burns sometime before 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 3.
According to Sheriff Rob Craft, the two incidents were similar in nature.
“Between the two homes, about $550 was taken—$450 at one and likely $80 at the other—along with various checks, personal identification and a couple of cameras in one of the purses,” he said.
In both instances, a man and woman approached elderly homeowners and offered to do repairs to the house.
While one perpetrator distracted the resident, the other one went into the house.
“Once out of sight, (the perpetrator inside) stole purses, money, billfolds and anything else they could gather up,” Craft said. “By the time the homeowner noticed anything was gone, (the perpetrators) had left the area.”
Craft said his office recovered one of the purses taken from a residence in a ditch south of Florence.
“They (perpetrators) got what they wanted and discarded the rest of it,” he added.
Although the residents were unable to give a clear description of the two people involved, Craft said the homeowners were able to describe the vehicle as a late model Dodge truck, tan or grey, with unknown license plates.
“Don’t let anybody in your home use the restroom or make a phone call,” Craft advised. “If you do decide to do let someone in, stay with them the entire time.”
Craft said this type of crime is successful because the perpetrators are good at distracting.
“It’s their living,” he said. “One is outside and the other is inside, pilfering what they can find quickly and what is easy (to steal).”
Residents should be aware this is a common ploy across the country, he said.
“These people will be here to burglarize two or three houses, leave, and then resurface 100 to 200 miles away.”
Craft said while people should be trusting when someone needs help, they also should keep up their guard.
“Don’t open your home too readily,” he said.
Anyone with information about the recent burglaries is asked to call Deputy Derrick Fetrow, who worked the case, at 620-382-2144.
Craft also urged citizens to call his office or city law enforcement officials whenever someone spots suspicious behavior.