The Summit Police Department is actively investigating a suspicious incident that may be an attempted distraction burglary. The incident occurred at a Woodland Avenue residence on Saturday, September 23, 2023.
According to the victim, the subject, described as a white male with light brown hair and a possible Irish accent, attempted to lure her from the home by claiming that they were investigating a complaint from a neighbor about falling debris. They asked her to come outside for them to show her the issue in the backyard. The homeowner became suspicious, asked for identification, and refused to open the door. When the subject was unable to produce identification, the victim asked him to leave a business card in the mailbox for her to contact them later. The victim observed the subject and a possible second subject leaving the scene in a black pickup truck without leaving a card.
The victim later called the City of Summit Department of Community Services to report the encounter; staff immediately notified police.
The Summit Police Department urges all residents to remain vigilant and take the following precautions to safeguard themselves against distraction burglaries:
Always ask for ID: If someone claims to be from a government agency, utility company or any other service, always ask for a valid ID. If in doubt, call the agency or company directly to verify the person's identity. The Summit Police Department can also help to verify credentials.
Keep doors locked: Even when you are home, keep all entry points locked. If someone unfamiliar is at your door, communicate through the door without opening it.
Install a peephole: This allows you to see who is at your door without opening it.
Avoid letting strangers inside: If someone claims they need to enter your home for any reason, ask them to wait outside and call the company or authority they represent to verify.
Stay informed about scams: Regularly check the police page on the City of Summit website and Summit Police Facebook and Instagram pages for any reported scams or suspicious activity in the area.
Trust your instincts: If something does not feel right, it likely is not. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of your home over being polite.
Set up a security system: Consider investing in a video doorbell, exterior cameras, or an alarm system. Displaying security system signs can also deter potential criminals.
Inform your neighbors: Get to know your neighbors and look out for one another. If you see someone or something suspicious, inform your neighbors, and encourage them to do the same.
Summit Police are asking anyone with information related to this incident or who may have noticed suspicious activity to contact the Summit Police Detective Bureau at 908-273-0051. For more information on the Summit Police Department, visit the City of Summit website.