Local News

Fake Moving Company Burglarizes Homes In Durham Neighborhood

Posted July 26, 2006 2:21 a.m. EDT

— Grove Park is a quiet neighborhood with several houses for sale. Resident Paul Layne said it wasn't out of the ordinary to see a moving truck in front of one house recently, with workers loading the resident's belongings onto it.

"They didn't look suspicious," said Layne. "They were just bringing the stuff right out and, you know, we just assumed the guy was moving."

But the moving van belonged to thieves.

"They just pulled up right in front of the house, pried the back door open, went in the house and took the washer and dryer and the couch and all the big stuff," said Durham police Sgt. Ann Marie Batte.

That same scenario has happened twice this month. There have been five break-ins in Grove Park since May, police said.

"The last several break-ins we've had, they've been taking furniture, couches, pictures off the walls, towels, matching shower curtains," said Batte. "Not what we see on a normal, everyday basis."

Police are patrolling the neighborhood, looking for a white moving van with a blue phone number on the side.

The van pulled up to one house three weeks ago, police said. A witness said the crew consisted of three women and a man who emptied the living room.

The homeowner has since installed a security system. However, he thought he already had some security before the break-in. A police officer lives across the street.

The Grove Park Neighborhood Association says it's very concerned about the break-ins. The group will discuss security during a National Night Out meeting next week.