LANSING, Ill. — Thieves are tarnishing the reputations of Illinois roofing contractors by pretending to be roofers and stealing from unsuspecting victims.
CBS-affiliated WBBM-TV reports that three men approached the home of Arturo Salinas of Lansing, Ill. uninvited. One of the men was seen on surveillance video speaking to Salinas outside of his home. Salinas, a Korean War veteran, and his wife Elisabeth said the man claimed there was something wrong with their roof and garage.
“Right away he grabs my hand, you know, shakes it like he knows me,” Salinas told WBBM. “He doesn’t know me. I don’t know him.”
The man convinced Salinas to come to the garage with him while telling Elisabeth to fetch a bucket of water from the basement. While all this went on, another man is seen on the video putting on gloves and entering the home.
The same footage caught the glove-wearing man slipping back out of the home with what appeared to be Salinas’ gun safe under his coat. Salina said he had around $1,000, a gun and bank books stored in the safe. The men also made off with a gold bracelet with Salinas' U.S. Army ID engraved on it.
After handing the couple supposed business cards, the crew left in a white car, never touching the roof.
“We should have been quick enough to realize,” Elisabeth said.
Unscrupulous people use the roofing industry as their cover for committing various crimes, including ripping off their fellow contractors. Thankfully, new laws are being passed to help prevent these types of crimes, and those who are caught tend to face stiff penalties and prison time.