Jupiter Police warn against distraction thefts

Posted at 11:09 PM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 23:58:27-05

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jupiter Police are warning residents to be careful of who they let in their home, following at least two reports of distraction thefts over the last few weeks.

Police say an unknown suspect knocked on residential doors and asked the homeowner if they received a notice about their water being contaminated. 

The suspect asked to enter the home to run the water and flush the toilets. While the suspect distracted the resident, the suspect signals an accomplice to enter the home, and the accomplice steals valuable items.  
One of the victims, an 87-year-old woman, says more than $10,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from her Jupiter Inlet Condos home on New Years Eve.

She says the unknown man was adamant about checking her water quality, claiming it might not be safe for drinking.

“I was very upset for her because I knew she was upset,” said Jupiter Inlet Condo resident James Bockius.

He says the community is a 55+, close knit community. “We’re self managed, we look after each other,” Bockius said.

Word of the theft spread quickly, and has other residents being watchful. Some are learning from the elderly woman’s mistake.

“She didn’t ask for identification, but you don’t think on your feet that fast because you trust people,” Bockius said.

Police say an attempted distraction theft happened at the Jupiter Ocean and Raquet Club.

In that case, however, a woman asked the man for ID and threatened to call security, causing him to take off.

The suspects have been described as white males, approximately 40 years of age, 5’7” to 5’8” tall, wearing clothing that resembles a Utility Worker.  The suspects have been primarily targeting elderly females in condominium communities.
The Jupiter Police Department wants to ensure you do not become a victim of this type of crime.  

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Jupiter Police Department at (561) 746-6201 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at (800) 458-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.