FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale Police said two men wearing work vests and hard hats appeared at the home of a 94-year-old woman in the Isles neighborhood Thursday night.
They told the woman there was a problem with her sea wall and one man took her outside to look at the damage.
But investigators said they were actually thieves distracting her from the crime occurring inside her home.
Neighbors said the sea wall ruse was plausible because there have been construction workers working for more than a year on a bridge to the community, nestled along Las Olas Boulevard, just a short walk from Fort Lauderdale Beach.
“We generally don’t have crime in this neighborhood,” said a neighbor, who did not want to share his name. “I guess you get kind of used to the workers being here and you let your guard down.”
A man at the victim’s home told CBS4 News that the thieves told the elderly victim they needed access to the sea wall behind her home.
Investigators said one bad guy took the victim outside to show her the sea wall and sprayed something on her hands. When they went back inside to help her wash her hands the bad guys made off with her jewelry.
Detectives carted potential evidence out of the home as a Broward Sheriff’s helicopter searched the sky above.
Neighbor Maya Briglio said the elderly victim has lived on the street for years and is very private.
”They really targeted her,” she said. “They must have been very convincing because I don’t think she would have opened the door.”
If you have any information, you are urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.