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Woman, 89, Says Thieves Used 5-Year-Old Girl In Distraction Robbery

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Juan_Fernandez_08062010 Juan Fernandez
Juan Fernandez joined CBS 2 News as a general assignment reporter in...
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GLENDORA (CBS) — Five-year-olds are adept at a lot of things…coloring, finger painting and reciting the alphabet.

A Glendora resident now knows that kids can also be used as distractions in home robberies.

Vera Mullen says two thieves, with a little girl in tow, talked their way into her home and then cleaned it out.

Mullen, 89, talked to KCAL9 and CBS2 reporter Juan Fernandez Wednesday evening, one day after a devastating robbery of cash and jewelry.

And police Lt. Jamie Caldwell told Fernandez they have “never” seen anything like this.

Yesterday, while enjoying the sunshine outside her home, she says a woman — approximately 60-something — approached and asked if she needed any housework done.

Mullen — who has lived in her home for more then 50 years — says the woman made small talk and then was joined by a man in his 20s and the little girl — they had a favor to ask.

The man said he wasn’t feeling well and would it be okay if he used her restroom. Being with a child, Mullen says, allowed her guard to be down and she said yes. Or as she puts it, “I was dumb enough to say yes.”

Mullen, who is nearing her 90th birthday, noticed the “young man went inside … and he stayed longer than they should have. But then they all left.”

The man apparently rifled through wallets, took about $700 in cash. He then helped himself to dresser drawers and took about $1,000 worth of jewelry.

Mullen is angry she fell for the ruse.

She told Fernandez that she is “shocked” someone would be so brazen and also use a child in the commission of a crime.

But she learned one valuable lesson. “I will never let anyone else inside my house,” Mullen maintains.

Officer Caldwell said it’s sad that we all can’t be more trusting — even when kids are involved. But you have to remain vigilant. “If you don’t know them, don’t let them in,” he says.

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