Winter Haven police warn of distraction burglaries

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Police in Winter Haven are warning residents of distraction burglaries after one person was targeted last week.

They say the burglaries are similar to those which occurred elsewhere around Polk County, where three homeowners were targeted.

The latest victim in Winter Haven was targeted on February 9, police say. A Hispanic man approached the victim’s home, knocked on the front door and asked to speak to her husband. She said her husband was asleep, but the suspect said he needed to speak to him immediately about the property line to a home for sale next door.

The husband came to the door, police say, and walked to the backyard along with the suspect. Then, a second Hispanic male approached the wife and said she needed to come to the backyard as well. They walked to the backyard, on the opposite side of where the husband and the first suspect was standing.

The husband became suspicious when he noticed the two suspects speaking on walkie-talkies, police say. He then walked towards the front yard and saw a third suspect approaching a white Dodge Ram pickup truck, with a white topper, from the direction of the home’s front door. The other two suspected quickly entered the truck and drove off.

The homeowner tried to obtain a tag number, but the tailgate was down and carpet was draped down enough to cover it, according to Winter Haven police. When the couple went back inside their home, they found about $10,000 work of jewelry was stolen.

The three suspects were described as between the ages of 25 and 30. One was about 5’8 to 5’10 feet tall and weighs 175 pounds. The second suspect is 5’4 to 5’6 feet tall and weighs about 175 pounds. The third suspect is 6’3 to 6’4 feet tall and weighs about 270 pounds.

Anyone with information on the suspects’ identities are asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).