Distraction crimes up in Palm Beach County

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- The number of distraction crimes has increased throughout Palm Beach County recently, several police departments told WPTV NewsChannel 5.

Most of the targets, they said, were senior citizens.

According to police, someone who pretends to be a landscaper will knock on a homeowner's door and convince the homeowner to walk around the back of their home.

An accomplice then robs the home, police said.

The crimes have been reported in Palm Beach, North Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.

"If somebody knocks on the door and you don't know who they are you don't have to answer that door," Sgt. Jim DeFago, a program director at Crime Stoppers of West Palm Beach said. "Talk through the door. If you're not comfortable don't even leave your home. You don't have to open the door."

Crime Stoppers can be reached through its Web site or at (800) 458-8477.

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