A Fremont Universe reader’s home was burglarized last week in a very odd way. He writes:
Around 5:30pm on Monday I startled a young man in our basement when I went down to do laundry. He was crouched down by one of the water heaters and claimed he was a friend of one of the tenants in another apartment in our building and that he was checking on a malfunctioning water heater. He introduced himself, was very apologetic for having freaked me out and promised he’d get the neighbor guy to come smooth things out as soon as he returned from work.
I was suspicious but he was so personable and convincing that I was taken in. We have had a couple of tenant changes in our building recently and I assumed the tenant to whom he was referring was somebody new who I had not yet met. He even came back and knocked on my door twice: once to have me speak on his cellphone to the mythical “neighbor” and a second time to tell me the neighbor was running late and asking if I’d like him to bring me anything back from Tutta Bella where he was going to eat. Consulting with my husband and figuring that no sensible criminal would hang around at the scene of the crime for approaching an hour in full view of several neighbors and offering pizza, we decided to hang tight until the “neighbor” got home and explained the situation.
As time went on and nobody came to our door we went to call on the folks he claimed he was staying with and and that point realized we’d been played, big time. Another neighbor had seen and conversed with the guy and a second guy who at this point were carrying a suitcase and a tool box. He assumed they were recent move-ins or move-outs and thought nothing of it until later. At this point we re-checked the basement and realized two of our suitcases and a couple of old laptops were missing as well as a tool box belonging to our landlord. Possibly other stuff was taken that we haven’t realized is missing yet. There was evidence of a forced entry on one of the side windows to the basement. We called the police who sent an officer out. He said he had never heard a story like this in five years of working this neighborhood.
The main burglar was Caucasian, in his 20s or 30s, between 5’8 and 6′ tall with light brown hair in a buzz cut. He wore blue jeans, tennis shoes, a grey/black fleece and a black baseball cap which was on backwards. He was a little effeminate, especially when speaking and was a very smooth and convincing story-teller. He was also a cigarette-smoker. The second guy was apparently darker skinned and wearing black.
Please be on the lookout for any strange people on your property and don’t be as trusting as I was. The police officer who visited us advised that the best thing to do in such a situation is to call 911 even if you’re not completely sure the person is suspect. You can do this out of earshot if you don’t want to arouse suspicion. This event has also prompted us as tenants to get to know each other better and we’ve made a plan to inform each other if we will have friends or relatives staying. Had we been clearer on the details of our neighbors and their house guests this clever story would not have held up and the burglary could possibly have been averted.
The victim lives on Whitman and wanted to let our readers know to be aware.