Martin County sheriff warns of distraction burglaries

Posted at 12:18 PM, Jan 31, 2017

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is urging the public to be on the look-out for thieves working in teams, often called "gypsy burglars," who distract their victims.

Jupiter police also warned residents of similar cases this month.

Investigators say the criminals show up and claim to be utility or repair workers, land survey or tree trimmers, water treatment specialists or similar.


They will often appear dressed in official-looking clothing of their alleged service and drive a related vehicle that may be marked.

Be being polite and showing a sense of urgency, they work to get you outside of you home and distract you, while other burglars break-in and quickly rob your home.

Deputies said in one case, the burglars convinced an elderly victim that her water was contaminated. The thieves urged the victim to wash her hands with milk to "decontaminate" her skin. 

What Should I Do If Approached?

The sheriff's office says if someone comes to your home and claims to be a service worker that you did not request, or asks to use your phone for any purpose, you should do the following:

  • Remain aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay inside your home
  • Tell the person that you are calling the Martin County sheriff 

MCSO says before any work or service is performed, a legitimate worker will be happy to wait for a deputy to arrive.