Scam Related Burglaries Reported in Dubuque
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque Police say they've received two complaints regarding suspicious individuals contacting area residents and attempting to gain access to their homes under false pretenses.
Police say the most recent reports involved individuals described as two dark-complected males, possibly Latino, in a gray SUV, possibly a GMC Acadia with no front license plate.
Police say these incidents involve one person attempting to distract the homeowner by claiming he or she needs home/property repair or maintenance, etc. while the other individual attempts to gain entry to the residence for criminal purposes. Police say the people may also attempt contacting a residence under one of the above ploys, then burglarize the residence if they do not get an answer.
Police say this reinforces the importance of residents taking the necessary precautions to keep property secure. This includes: locking all doors/windows & closing curtains/blinds, arming alarms/home security and/or timers, utilize outdoor/indoor lighting, removing valuables from all vehicles, boats, campers, etc., neighborhood vigilance (especially when homes are vacant due to vacations, etc.) and reporting all suspicious/criminal activity.
Dubuque Police are also offering these recommendations that, they say, will decrease the likelihood of scam-related burglary victim:
Be extremely cautious of individuals soliciting door-to-door, whether it's regarding home repair/improvement or other services and/or products.
Never pay large sums in advance to service providers you haven't researched extensively.
Employ only insured, reputable service providers with legitimate references.
Require and verify the credentials of all service providers and insist on a written contract that includes the details of work to be done, start/completion dates, required permit verification, cost and any other promises/guarantees. Ask for a copy of any applicable licensing/insurance documents.
Periodically, the City of Dubuque may have personnel, either employed by the City or contracted, making contact with residents for a variety of reasons. Call City Hall or the Police Department if you need to verify the credentials of said personnel.
Make sure all valuables are out of sight and secured whether it be in your home, vehicles, boats, campers, etc.
Do not allow access to your residence unless the service requires such and you have followed the above recommendations.
Notify authorities immediately to report suspicious/criminal activity. 563-589-4415 for non-emergency and 9-1-1 for emergency.