The Anaheim Police Department is on the lookout for suspects after a series of “distraction burglaries” have been impacting elderly Anaheim residents.
In a similar scheme reproduced a number of times, a suspect will make contact with an elderly resident by posing as either a new neighbor or a utility worker and will convince the neighbor to step outside of their home. While the homeowner is distracted, a second suspect then sneaks into the house and will burglarize it and run off with what they stole.
Anaheim resident Brent Kahlen told Fox 11 that a woman approached him pretending to be his new neighbor, and asked to go to his backyard to clean up some trees from “her yard.”
“A woman came to the door [who was] very friendly. She said her grandparents bought the house behind me,” Kahlen said.
“She said she wanted to get access to my yard to clean up some trees or something and I said there was no border with the house behind me. I took her back there to show her … unbeknownst to me, there was somebody with her she was apparently speaking to them on the phone in Spanish.
“In fact, she asked me if I spoke Spanish and I said ‘no.’ So, she’s talking to him in Spanish … and finally she wasn’t making sense anymore, so I said ‘I got to go,’ and all of sudden she gets on her phone and apparently the guy went running out.”
One of Kahlen’s neighbors reportedly witnessed the other suspect running out of his home but was unable to take a picture before he fled the scene. Kahlen then returned to his home, only to find that his bedroom had been ransacked.
The two suspects have been identified as a male adult, either Hispanic or white in his 40s, and a female Hispanic adult, 30 to 40 years old.
Two suspect vehicles related to the string of crimes have been caught on camera; one is described as a silver or light blue BMW X3 SUV leaving a home on the evening of Sep. 18, and the other is a 2008–2014 gold or tan Dodge Caravan.
Anyone with information on the suspects or their vehicles is encouraged to call Anaheim Police Department Detective Ken Johnson at 714-765-1940 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.