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ONLY ON 5: Criminals distract families in South Euclid to steal their property

Posted at 8:48 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 20:48:27-04

Be on the look out for criminals distracting you, right in your home, so they can steal from you.

It's called distraction-theft and its happening across Greater Cleveland. Two cases were reported in South Euclid just this week.

In one case, two young women got away with a car.

NewsChannel 5 spoke exclusively with the victim.

The victim didn't want to be named, but she told us she thought she was helping a person in need, when really, she was opening up her home and all of her belongings to a couple of criminals.

"She said do you mind if I use your restroom? We've been walking around and we can't get in touch with anyone. I'm locked out of my home."

She described them as two girls in their late teens. One claimed to be pregnant. And, they didn't seem to be in a rush to leave -- talking, drinking water, using the restroom and the phone.

"It was strange they were at my house like that," she told us.

When they left, that strange feeling stuck around.

"While they were in my house I felt like it was some type of plot or something but I felt like I had it under control," she said.

Later, she couldn't find her keys. She told herself it had to be a coincidence.

Then on Wednesday, a couple days after the visit, her SUV was taken right out of her driveway. She told NewsChannel 5 she regrets not listening to her instincts.

South Euclid police are investigating the case. The car is still missing.

Officer Joe DiLillo told us the two young women may be linked to other crimes in South Euclid and the Cleveland-area.

"We're monitoring other agencies to see if they're taking similar reports," he said.

Officer DiLillo said the department hopes getting the word out keeps others from becoming victims.

"Individuals are praying on the sympathy of our residents," he said.