The woman reported that two men who identified themselves as contractors came to her home on the afternoon of Sept.16 and said they had been hired by her townhouse association to power-wash the outer rear wall of her residence, Park Ridge Deputy Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.
The woman told police that one of the men pushed past her and entered the house uninvited, Jogmen said. The woman reportedly followed after him as he walked straight through the house and exited into the backyard through a sliding glass door.
Outside, the man showed the woman areas he was going to clean and tried to persuade her not to contact a family member when she attempted to do so, Jogmen said. The woman reportedly headed back inside the house to find another man walking down her staircase, holding a pillowcase. Jogmen said the woman tried to chase the man and grabbed the pillowcase from him when a struggle ensued and she was pushed away. Both men then allegedly fled with the pillowcase, which police said contained jewelry and an undisclosed amount of cash.
The men left the area in a black SUV, police said.
Jogmen said the incident is another example of a ruse entry burglary in which criminals approach residents (often elderly), enter their homes after claiming to be some kind of worker, and then steal valuables while the resident is distracted.
"Clearly, they were not legitimate contractors hired by the association," he said of the men in the Sept. 16 incident.
Anyone with information should contact the Park Ridge Police Department at 847-318-5252.