Tempe police warning residents about roving band of thieves

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TEMPE -- The Tempe Police Department is warning its residents, especially the elderly, about a band of thieves hitting homes in the city.

Neighborhood alert

Tempe police issue neighborhood alert - The Tempe Police Department is warning its residents, especially the elderly, about a band of thieves hitting homes in the city.

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Investigators said a group of men is going around neighborhoods, knocking on doors and using a variety of methods to distract the homeowners. While those homeowners are occupied by the ruse, other members of the group are getting into the homes and stealing whatever is available.

Police have so far connected four different cases in the past week or so, but say it's possible that there are more. Sgt. Steve Carbajal of the Tempe Police Department said they even have a potentially related incident in Mesa.

"As is typical with these types of crimes, criminals know no boundaries," Carbajal said. "As police agencies, we really rely on information sharing and communication amongst other agencies to put a stop to these types of trends.

"We want to arm our citizens with the information they need to safeguard themselves."

Police say you should never let anybody into your home. If you are going to let somebody in, you need to be sure to check his or her credentials first. That includes calling the company he or she claims to represent.

Police also said you should always keep your doors and windows locked.

When in doubt, call the police.

"We'd rather come out on a call that somebody deems suspicious and find out that it's nothing than find out there was a crime that happened later," Carbajal said.

The suspects involved in the recent cases are Hispanic men in their late teens or early 20s.