Sarasota homeowner distracted by ‘fence inspector’ while another man enters home

Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are investigating a suspicious incident that took place Monday afternoon.

According to police, a homeowner living off of West Royal Flamingo Drive said a man wearing a baseball cap, mask, white long-sleeved shirt, and carrying a walkie-talkie knocked on his front door around 4:30 p.m. saying he needed to take measurements in regards to the improvement of his neighbor’s fence.

Officers say the homeowner walked out of his house and followed the man to the back of his property. The homeowner told detectives the man was speaking a foreign language into his walkie-talkie as he walked along the house.

Less than two minutes later, the police department says a second man, wearing a large floppy hat, mask, sunglasses, and gloves, walked up to the front door, knocked and walked into the house through an unlocked front door. The man was confronted by the homeowner’s wife and immediately walked back out.

A release from SPD says the men told the homeowners they needed to leave immediately for another job and left in a white Chevy Tahoe with an Uber sign.

According to police, the homeowners spoke with their neighbors who said they were out of town and did not request any fence upgrades or improvements. Neither man was wearing a uniform, suggesting they were with a legitimate fencing company. Nothing was stolen from the home.

“We don’t know if they are still in the area or if they have traveled to other areas,” said Sarasota Police spokesperson Genevieve Judge. “That is why we just want to get the word out that if you are a homeowner or see something weird, it really goes back to the old adage of if you see something, say some thing. If something seems suspicious or if something makes the hair on your arms stick up and it doesn’t seem right, go ahead and call law-enforcement,” she continued.

If you’re expecting a worker to come into your home, Sarasota police officers suggest the following crime prevention tips to protect you, your family and your personal belongings:

  • Make sure workers have proper identification and are driving a marked vehicle.
  • If there is no reason for a worker to come into your home, do not let them in.
  • Always secure and lock all doors and windows, even when you’re home.

If you have any information on this situation, call Sergeant Charlie Riffe at 941-263-6089 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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