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Nassau advises residents to be aware of 'distraction burglaries'

Nassau County police cars in Syosset on Dec.

Nassau County police cars in Syosset on Dec. 28, 2013. Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

If an unknown and unexpected contractor, surveyor or utility worker drops by and suggests you go out to check something in your yard, better first ask to see identification -- and give it a close look, Nassau County police said Tuesday.

The visit could be part of a scam in which burglars, posing as contractors and other such types, divert homeowners while accomplices enter the home, said police, who report a series of such "distraction burglaries" in the county.

Police said there have been three of these types of burglaries in Nassau since Thursday -- one each in Syosset, Herricks and Westbury, police said. Two of the victims were elderly, police said, and all of the homes were targeted during the early-afternoon hours.

The department is expected to release composite sketches of the suspects Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.

Besides checking identification -- and all Nassau County employees carry photo identification, police said -- residents are advised to keep doors and windows locked even when they're home; set the burglar alarm even if they're stepping out only briefly; and stash valuables, including cash and jewelry, away in less overt places than, say, the kitchen counter.

With Candice Ruud


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