Police warn the elderly not to let strangers in their homes

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - Police in several northeast Ohio communities are issuing this warning: DO NOT LET STRANGERS INTO YOUR HOME.

Suspected burglars posing as utility workers are trying to gain access to homes all across the Cleveland area. 

In Mayfield Heights, at least two homeowners were approached Tuesday night by a man who claimed he worked for the water department and needed to check for a leak in their basements.

"I says I haven't  got no leak," homeowner Tony Ceraolo said. "You ain't going to the basement."

Police say once homeowners let the suspect into the basement, an accomplice comes in and robs them.

That's what happened to an elderly couple in Wickliffe Tuesday afternoon. They discovered cash was missing after the suspect left.

Wickliffe Police Lt. Pat Hengst believes that case is related to those in Mayfield Heights.

Several homeowners have described the suspect as a short, chubby  white male with a dark complexion wearing a Vans ball cap and driving a small black SUV.

Police say they see cases like these when the weather warms up when more people are outside and the suspects can see where the elderly live.

"They come around in the suburbs. They come around everywhere," Mayfield Heights Police Lt. Scott Suydam said. "Don't let strangers into your home."

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