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Bay distraction burglary could be connected to others


BAY VILLAGE – Police are investigating possible links between a recent “distraction” burglary on Columbia Road and two similar incidents in Northeastern Ohio.

Bay Village Detective Jay Elish said the incident the afternoon of Aug. 30 at a home in the 400 block of Columbia Road where jewelry and medications was taken is similar to mid-August incidents in Bainbridge Township and Parma Heights.

“They all had homeowners being distracted by one person while another person apparently got inside the victims’ homes and were able to get at valuables,” he said. “We’ve had incidents like this before, particularly when the weather is good. Criminals will try and take advantage of people because they have other things going on and are distracted. In particular, they’ll try this a lot with senior citizens, like what happened in this incident. They’ll go in a house, grab what they can and leave.’

In the Bay Village incident, he said the two female victims, who are in their late 70s, had arrived home from shopping at about 1:30 p.m. and were unloading groceries when they were approached by a woman described as being about 5-foot-3, in her late 20s to early 30s, with blond hair, a thin build and sores on her face. She was wearing a long-sleeved gray T-shirt and jeans. Elish said she told the homeowners she was from the Illuminating Company and that she wanted the homeowners to come to the front of the house and look at some trees for possible trimming. The homeowners said the woman was in communication with a man on a portable radio.

“That was probably the other person who actually got into the house,” Elish said.

After speaking with the victims a short time, the woman got in a gray or dark blue SUV and left. Elish said the victims’ didn’t notice items were missing until Saturday, Sept. 2. The woman came to the house on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

“The criminals count on people noticing something is missing right away. They also like to get homes near roads where they can get away fast. In this case, Columbia is near (interstate) 90.”

He said in the other incidents, the person who contacted the victims was a man.

“It’s possible it could be the same two people and they just reversed roles, they could be part of a group, or it just could be different people,” he said.

He also noted the woman’s description included having sores on her face.

“That could indicate drug use and medication was taken in the incident,” he said.

Elish said utility company workers have uniforms and identification which people can check or contact the company and verify who they are.



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