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Rotterdam police warn of more 'distraction burglaries'

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ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (WRGB) - A string of distraction burglaries in the area now strikes Rotterdam.

Police say thieves gained access to two homes on Wednesday, one on Delmar Avenue, the other on Fort Hunter Road. Police say both victims were living alone.

Police say in both cases the thieves acted as utility workers. They say this was a two man job. One person would ask to come inside and would distract the homeowner, while a second person would be right behind him and walk inside.

"If you live alone, it's going to be hard to follow them around at the same time,” says Lt. Bill Male of Rotterdam PD.

Male says both victims were elderly, and sometimes he says they can be the most vulnerable.

"They can kind of easily be manipulated into doing the kinds of things these scammers intend on having them do," Male says.

He says in both cases, neither of the victims asked the thieves for credentials. Police also say the thieves used different covers in each incident. That has some neighbors second guessing who is knocking on their front door.

"Then when I heard my road, Fort Hunter Road. I was like, 'Okay, they're getting close to home,'” says Jeff Ceeley of Rotterdam.

Ceeley also works for Schenectady County dispatch. He says you should be as detailed as possible if you call in something that looks suspicious, especially in cases like this.

"We have caught people in the act because of alert people who have called,” Ceeley said.

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