At approximately 12:15 pm on December 16, 2013, the Griffith Police were notified by a resident that a subject in a green compact car had approached her residence and rang her doorbell continuously. The resident, having just exited the shower, did not immediately answer the door and instead yelled to the subject that she would come to the door shortly. After making this statement, the subject quickly returned to the green car and left the area.
Griffith Sergeant Todd Dawes responded to the area of the complainant’s home and, in the area of the 900 block of Wheeler, located a green compact car parked in a driveway, running and occupied by two men. Sergeant Dawes made contact with the two men who advised that they were present at the residence to visit a friend. Despite their claims, Sergeant Dawes noted that the men appeared to be nervous and that their car had a large screen TV, a gaming system and a jewelry box in the back seat. Additional officers were summoned to the scene and the two men, identified as David Woods (19 YOA) of Gary and Shane Parks (19 YOA) of Chesterton, were detained. Further investigation at the scene revealed that forced entry had been made to the home and that a burglary had taken place. A subsequent warranted search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of all property taken from the Griffith residence as well as additional property that will likely be associated with other burglaries that have occurred recently in neighboring towns.
Both Woods and Parks provided statements to Detective Schoon regarding their involvement in this burglary.
On December 18, 2013, the Office of the Lake County Prosecutor charged David Woods and Shane Parks with Class B Felonies for Burglary. If convicted, Woods and Parks face 6 to 20 years in prison.
Chief Mance stated that, “Arrest like this show that the citizens of Griffith and the Griffith Police Department are working in unison to send a strong message that crime will not be tolerated in our community.”
Charged with Burglary in Griffith.
Charged with Burglary in Griffith.
Griffith, and other neighboring communities, have experienced recent incidents in which elderly citizens are approached at their homes by “a Hispanic looking man” posing as an employee of a utility company. The suspect in these cases then asks the resident to perform a task (usually to fill a bucket of water or to watch a testing device) as a distraction. Once distracted, the suspect speaks a foreign language into a “walkie talkie” like device and leaves the view of the resident. When this occurs, one or two accomplices enter the house and look for money or other precious metals to steal from the unsuspecting resident.
These types of incidents are called “Gypsy Scams” because they are most often committed by Gypsies, a wandering group of people of Romanian, Yugoslavian, Russian, Polish and Hungarian descent. And, unfortunately for us, our nearby neighbor of Chicago has a known and substantial population of active Gypsies.
To prevent being a victim of a Gypsy Scam, please be suspicious of anyone that approaches your home and asks to come inside for any reason. If they are from a legitimate utility company they will have an official identification badge that will properly identify them as such. If you are at all suspicious lock your door and call 911.
Please pass this information along to all of your elderly family, friends and neighbors.
The Highland Police Department issued an alert advising residents to keep doors locked and report suspicious activity in the wake of recent daytime burglaries. The alert stated:
Several Daytime burglaries have occurred recently. Residents are reminded to secure your homes and to report any suspicious activity.
Griffith, Schererville, and Lowell police have issued similar releases in recent weeks.
The Griffith Police Department issued the following alert regarding recent burglaries in the area of Arbogast and Wood Streets:
COMMUNITY ALERT: There have been several burglaries to garages and to two homes primarily reported between the areas between the 1200 block of Arbogast and the 1200 block of Wood Streets. All incidents have occurred during the cover of darkness, to inlcude the evening and pre-dawn hours. We believe two suspects are working in concert and are from, or are staying in, the immediate area. One suspect has been described as a white male, mid 20’s to early 30’s, average build, 5’10” to 6’00” tall, with a short “buzz cut” style haircut, wearing all camouflage. The other suspect has been described as a white male, 6’00” tall, husky build, short hair, full “Duck Dynasty” style beard, wearing a grey in color sweatpants and hoodie. Extra patrols are being instituted and investigators are actively pursuing leads.
Trick or treat hours for all Lake County cities and towns will be from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm with the exception of Gary. Trick or treat hours in Gary will be from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on October 31, 2013. As a reminder, the Indiana State Police offer the following halloween safety tips:
The Indiana State Police would like to remind parents of a few safety tips to observe during the Halloween holiday. Parents and children will be out in full force next week trick-or-treating and the Indiana State Police would like to remind parents that observing just a few rules will help can make the evening both fun and safe.
•Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
•Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks often obstruct a child’s vision, which makes tasks like crossing the street and going up and down stairs dangerous.
•Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.Trick or Treating-
•Make sure older children trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so parents know where they will be.
•Instruct children to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
•Encourage children to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If children are out after dark, make sure they have flashlights and travel on well lighted streets.
•Remind children not to enter the homes or cars of strangers.
•Follow your communities trick-or-treating hours.
•Remind children not to eat any of their treats until they get home.
•Check out all treats at home in a well-lighted place.
•Only eat unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Remember to inspect fruits
Additionally, many communities, schools and churches offer children safe alternatives to trick-or-treating designed to keep children safely within parents’ view. Some hospitals and schools allow children to trick-or-treat by going from room to room virtually eliminating the dangers associated with being out walking on the street after dark.