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Distraction burglary by tree trimmers reported in Collier County

Posted at 1:56 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 13:56:44-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is cautioning residents to be aware that distraction burglars are again at work in the area after a reported burglary in Golden Gate.

Detectives say the thief walked away with jewelry Monday at a home on 39th Street Southwest.

According to the sheriff's office, the previous Friday, a man showed up at the home and negotiated tree trimming work with the resident. The man returned on Monday with a woman, and while the woman talked to the homeowner in the back yard and marked trees with ribbons, the man entered the home and stole the jewelry.

Detectives said the man is described as Hispanic, 45-50 years old and about 5 feet 4 inches tall and 180 pounds with short and wavy salt-and-pepper hair.

Detectives said the woman is described as Hispanic, around 40 years old and about 160 pounds.

They were driving a white four-door vehicle with a hatchback similar to a Prius but larger.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff's Office at 252-9300, or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

CCSO urges all residents to take certain precautions if there is a stranger at the door. Their Crime Prevention Bureau offers these safety tips:

* Be suspicious of workers who arrive unannounced.

* Never allow a stranger to come into your house.

* Don’t be rushed into emergency repairs. Discuss the problem with a relative, trusted friend or a reputable business by getting a second estimate and confirming the problem.

* Do not provide deposits for work before work is started.

* Do not pay the service until all work is complete and correct.

* Ask for identification and call the company. When calling, have the employee wait outside of your residence and use a number from the phone book and not a number given to you by the worker.

* Always notify CCSO if persons are going from door to door trying to sell you a service or a product , even if they appear to be legitimate. Let deputies confirm their occupational license or the validity of their company. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

* Anyone worried about a suspicious person should call 911 immediately with a description of the individual and vehicle. Don’t put off calling. Deputies need to know right away what is happening on your street.