Deputies warn of suspicious strangers looking for home entry

Posted at 11:28 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 23:28:53-04

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. - An elderly couple was shocked to find a man they didn't know letting himself in through their back door Thursday afternoon.  Police are now searching for three men responsible for acting like contractors while targeting the elderly.

"In this particular operation, it’s more of a scam to get into the inner-home (there if you will) and start unlocking doors and potentially come back later," said Ottawa County Sheriff's Department Capt. Mark Bennett.

The incident took place Thursday afternoon in the 10400 block of Paw Paw Drive near 104th Avenue when an unknown man entered the home without permission.

"They’re in their 90’s and the conversation was such that this perspective service man wanted to do some work on their foundation," said Capt. Bennett.

Investigators said the suspect coaxed the husband outside as a distraction while a second suspect went inside and unlocked the front door with the wife inside alone.

"Suspects do tend to target older folks if it is the scam type of break-in or larceny just because in their minds they figure that they may be a richer target as it relates to items, maybe more money," said Capt. Bennett.

Alarmed and suspicious, the couple asked the men to leave before calling police. Nobody was threatened or injured and nothing was taken. Police believe the strangers were planning to return. The couple told police there were three potential thieves altogether that left in an unmarked white pickup truck with a water tank in the back. Neighbors we spoke with said it's typically a peaceful neighborhood, alarmed something like this is going on.

Meanwhile, Grand Rapids Police Department is warning residents of a similar incident to the one in Holland Township.  Also, Ionia County authorities are a warning of a phony door-to-door meat salesman who coaxed his way into a home to steal cash.

Police are asking anyone with a similar event or more information on this situation to get in touch police by calling Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT.