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posted Aug 15, 2011, 5:44 PM by Brian Donahoe   [ updated Aug 20, 2011, 9:32 AM ]
On Friday August 12th at approximately 3:30 pm, a home in our neighborhood was robbed. The members involved were not injured in the robbery, and for that we are most thankful. The event took place in similar fashion to some of the reports our security officer has given our membership over the years, and your Board of Directors feels that a communication to our membership concerning the incident is important. The details below are accurate to the best of our knowledge, but it should be noted that a full investigation by the Lake County Sheriff's office is underway.

A man claiming to work for Com Ed approached one of our member's homes, rang the front door and began a conversation with the home owner. He stated that Com Ed needed to do some work outside the property and offered to show the homeowner the location of the work outside. The homeowner asked for proper identification, but was told that the man's ID was "in the truck". No vehicle was parked in the driveway however. The member went with the man to the yard to see the scope of the work to be done. While outside, 2 other men entered the home, rummaged through the home and stole cash and jewelry from the home. The entire incident took place in approximately 10 minutes or less.

Our main concern is always for the well-being of our membership, and while we are thankful that no one was injured in the incident, we feel that it is important that you know of the incident and take some precautions to help protect your selves and your homes. Our security officer has provided some tips for our members to help avoid this type of incident:

1) Always ask anyone you don't know personally who comes to your home to show you proper identification. You should view the ID through the door glass rather than with the door open if possible. If the person at your home cannot provide proper identification while they are standing there with you, do not let them in your home. Simply tell them to leave your property immediately and that you are calling the authorities should they delay or refuse to provide you with a proper ID.

2) Do not leave your home with anyone you don't know, even if it's just to walk to an area of your own yard. Legitimate utility company representatives will not ask you to leave your home to view a work site.

3) Lock and deadbolt your doors at all times, even when you're in the home or out in the yard. Leaving a garage door or service door open can allow easy access to your home while you're busy with other things. These incidents usually happen quickly, in and out in a matter of only a couple minutes, so the fact that you're nearby in the yard is not enough protection.

4) If something occurs that doesn't seem "right", call 911 immediately. After you've made a report to the Sheriff's office, you can call our own security guard, but always make this call after your call to 911. Many times, victims will wait to make the call to the proper authorities for any number of reasons, and it is important not to delay the call to 911. Even if you manage to get the person to leave your property (no ID, something doesn't feel "right", etc...), call 911 immediately afterwards. The person could try to gain access to a neighbor's home if they cannot access yours, so a call to 911 can help prevent them from succeeding.

5) Report any and all incidents to our security officer, but only after calling 911 first. The Sheriff's office does not typically post warnings in neighborhoods where burglaries take place, but our security officer will inform the board of any incidents, allowing the board to disseminate that information to our membership.

We live in a wonderful and safe community, but this incident shows that even neighborhoods like ours can be affected by crime. We need to be vigilant, use common sense, act quickly when incidents arise, and most important, practice good safety techniques at all times to protect our families, our property, and our neighborhood.

from the CLA board President