Duo Posing As Tree Trimmers Targeting Elderly In OC

TUSTIN (CBS) — Homeowners in Orange County are being warned of a pair of burglars posing as tree trimmers and approaching the elderly.

Deputies say all three burglaries involved the same pair of thieves using distraction as their technique to get into the victim’s homes. They occurred in unincorporated Tustin and unincorporated Santa Ana.

Like the previous cases, the men this past Tuesday identified themselves as tree trimmers.

“They said they were going to take these palm trees out. And they were explaining that they would be putting netting over all of our shrubbery so that they wouldn’t damage any of the branches or anything of that sort. These guys were real pros,” said Chuck Miller, who lives near Foothill High School in North Tustin.

He noticed almost immediately that the duo communicated with one another on walkie talkies.

As one burglar kept him busy outside, the other was ransacking the bedroom inside.

When Chuck’s wife, Mary, found the suspect she said she was too stunned and too scared to speak.

“I feel guilty about not anticipating what was going on,” he added.

Investigators put the loss of cash and jewelry in all three cases at nearly $50,000.

“I just don’t feel safe. You know, we always kept our backdoor unlocked to go in and out and we keep it locked now,” Mary Miller said.

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