POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) — A 77-year-old victim is speaking out after the Broward Sheriff’s Office issues a warning about elderly people being targeted by two men posing as utility workers.
BSO says the men would show up at condominiums and steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and cash after distracting their victims. One suspect even wore a cap with the letters “FPL” on it.
“I was sick, absolutely sick because of this,” said the victim. “I know I won’t get any of my jewelry back.”
She told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I’m glad an arrest was made in this case. I hope he goes to jail.”
That 77-year-old woman, who did not want to show all of her face on camera, wanted to speak out about the crimes.
She says she was robbed of $20,000 worth of jewelry.
“They came to my door after Hurricane Irma and said they wanted to check on water damage,” she said. “While one man took me to a kitchen cabinet, another man said he was leaving. But he actually opened the door and then closed it and went back into my bedroom and stole my Rolex watch and jewelry.”
According to BSO, 28-year-old Kurt Kuhn and a co-defendant, who has not been arrested, victimized people in Pompano beach between September 27th and October 23rd.
“My advice is don’t let people into your house unless they have proper ID and can prove who they are,” said the victim. “I was under the impression that he had been sent from the maintenance company and I didn’t ask for ID. It was my fault.”
Kuhn faces charges including burglary of an occupied dwelling and larceny, and fraud involving elderly people.
The victims include a 97-year-old World War II veteran and his wife, who were robbed of $475 in cash, and an 88-year-old man who lost $5,000 worth of jewelry.
“I feel real bad that people are taking advantage of older people,” said that victim’s son, Guy Green. “They should pick on people like me.”
BSO spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said, “We do believe they have committed other distraction thefts in the area. If you recognize this man, you should call BSO or Crime Stoppers. We are very concerned that they are targeting vulnerable people.”
“What these people do is lie well,” she said. “They are very convincing. They will say anything to get into your home. Always ask for identification. And if people show up as workers unsolicited like this, they are probably going to scam you. Do yourself a favor, close the door and call law enforcement or verify that a worker has been sent there. And if you have a Homeowners Association, contact the HOA. There is usually 24 hours notice before workers are sent out.”
Anyone who think they may have been victimized in this matter should contact BSO or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).