Law enforcement explain how to spot burglars in disguise

Law enforcement explain how to spot burglars in disguise
(Source: WBRC)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Men in what appears to be a work truck and dressed in uniforms were caught on camera in Helena, but police say don't always believe what you see.

They could be scoping out your house.

Investigators said you really have to listen to your gut when it comes to scoping out potential criminals.

If something looks suspicious, it probably is, and it's what you do next that matters most.

"A lot of these communities are being impacted in ways that they haven't been in the past," said Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. John Pennington.

Burglars are out during the day this summer, looking for easy targets.

And officers say one way they get around unnoticed is to disguise themselves as legitimate workers.

"It's not always as it appears," said Sgt. Pennington. "And if you've lived in a community long enough, and been fairly observant, you're going to know who they're contracting to service their heating and cooling units, who's taking care of their grass."

One neighbor did exactly that in the Russet Meadows community in Jefferson County.

He said he became suspicious when he saw a gold unmarked truck outside his neighbor's home.

Moments later, he said he saw men dressed in construction clothes, breaking into his neighbor's home.

He called 911 and approached the men, which is something Sgt. Pennington advised against.

"You should just call law enforcement and let them handle it," said Sgt. Pennington. "You can continue to observe, to note, to document, and to record with your camera."

Men fitting the same description in that burglary were also caught on surveillance cameras in Helena.

Even though the cameras don't catch these men breaking the law, Sgt. Pennington said if it seems suspicious, call 911.

"Some people, they don't want to be a bother, they don't want to be wrong.  But there's nothing and no harm done to calling law enforcement," he said.

Jefferson County is still investigating that home burglary.

Sgt. Pennington said it's also helpful to get to know your neighbors and their contact information.

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