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Police warning over distraction thefts in Port St. Lucie

Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 11:17:45-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The St. Lucie County fair kicked off Friday, but police said it’s also the time of year when crooks take advantage of homeowners nearby.

Detectives are drawing attention to three cases of distracted thefts that are still unresolved from 2019.

The residential distraction burglaries took place on SW Violet Avenue, NW Taper Court, and SE Minorca Avenue during the afternoon hours last April.

According to Port St. Lucie Police, the suspects are “believed to be a group of traveling gypsies that are part of a large family."

Police also say the crooks tend to operate in pairs, posing as construction workers, but steal jewelry and cash from homeowners once they’re distracted.

Officials also say in many cases the criminals were known to use last names that include Mitchell, Nicholas, Dimetro, and Paris.

“They usually move along with the fairs. Palm Beach County saw an increase in these kinds of thefts with the South Florida Fair, Martin County Fair, and now the St. Lucie County Fair which is beginning this weekend,” said Port St. Lucie police detective John Morgan.

The crimes are not directly associated with the fair, but officials have noticed an uptick in cases during fair season.

Police say residents should ask for credentials and report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.

The St. Lucie County Fair runs through March 8.