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Scam alert: Burglars may be disguising themselves as landscapers

Posted: 9:44 PM, Jun 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-28 14:02:44Z

CINCINNATI — Burglars may be pulling a new scam that involves disguising themselves as landscapers to scout out potential targets.

Nick Carson, a Cincinnati resident, said he returned home Monday to find three landscapers walking around his property. 

But he hadn’t hired anyone to work on his yard.

Carson said he asked the trio why they were there, and he couldn’t get a straight answer. When he stepped inside his home to make a phone call, they hopped in their pickup truck and took off. The vehicle had no permanent license plate, only a temporary one.

The three men had trimmed a handful of trees and bushes, but they left the work unfinished.

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized what happened,” Carson said. “I’m definitely a lot more conscious of my surroundings now.”

Cincinnati police said Monday evening that the scenario matches a method sometimes used by burglars when they size up potential targets; it may not fool the homeowner, but landscapers aren’t a sight so uncommon they would typically set off alarm bells for neighbors or passersby.

According to police, if you come across a similar situation, you should take down detailed descriptions of the workers and their vehicle before calling a non-emergency police line.