NBC New York
Police say two women and a man have been posing as utility workers in order to get into elderly residents homes and then rob them. On Wednesday, the department released new clues they hope will help them catch the suspects. News4's Greg Cergol reports.
Police on Long Island have released a sketch of a second woman believed to be part of a team of burglars targeting elderly residents.
The woman is described by investigators as being about 30 years old with blue eyes. She has teamed with a second woman to distract, then rob, senior homeowners, police said. The other suspect is described as between 45 and 50 years old, with a wandering or bulging eye.
So far, the duo and an unidentified man have been blamed for at least nine burglaries in seven communities since December.
Most of the victims are in their 80s or 90s.
"It's a shame," said Ed Messemer, the neighbor of a 91-year-old victim in Bellmore. "She is so shaken up and frightened."
The two suspects took jewelry, cash and credit cards from the woman's home.
"They are targeting our most vulnerable citizens," said Nassau Police Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack.
The suspects pose as utility workers or contractors, according to police. One rings the front doorbell, then takes the homeowner outside to the backyard. The other suspect then slips into the house through the open front door and steals what she can. The women communicate with each other using walkie-talkies or cell phones, said police.
Seniors have been victimized in Merrick, Bellmore, Oceanside, West Hempstead, Jericho, Massapequa Park and Wantagh.
Police have offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the women.
A photo of a red car used by the suspects has also been made public, though the women have also used a dark minivan and older blue-gray sedan. All the vehicles have Florida license plates.
"I tell my wife not to open the door unless she is convinced it's a legitimate visit," said Bellmore resident Fred Schramm.
Nassau police echo that advice. Although the burglary team has not struck since Jan. 4, police think they will be back.
The burglars have also struck in Queens and Suffolk counties, said police.
If you recognize either suspect, police ask that you call 1-800-244-TIPS.