By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

GEORGETOWN (CBS) — They are robbers posing as landscapers in the town of Georgetown and local police believe they are an organized ring.

The thieves are striking homes in broad daylight, hoping no one is home. If the homeowner does answer the door, they offer landscaping services as a cover.

At least two men have been spotted in a car described as a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, but police believe more people and more vehicles are involved and they are trying to work up a profile.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

It’s the method of operation that has caught the attention of police chief James Mulligan. In two instances, the thieves have aggressively kicked in the front door. “I think these people should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Mulligan. “Doing a dramatic entry like that tells you something about their boldness.”

The thieves broke through the door of Mike Taft’s home, kicking right through a two inch deadbolt and stealing jewelry from the bedroom. He was grateful his wife had just stepped out to run errands. “It could have turned violent if she had been here,” he said. “A defenseless person they could take advantage of. You don’t know.”

Another resident saw two men back up her winding driveway and park in front of the garage before approaching the house to offer landscaping. She notified police giving them some descriptions to work with.

Thieves have also struck the neighboring towns of Newbury, Boxford, Topsfield and Lynnfield.

It was enough that detectives from the towns have been meeting to coordinate their efforts.

The towns are located just off Route 95, and have easy on-and-off access to the highway, which could make them vulnerable. They are also rural neighborhoods with houses spread apart, often behind trees giving the thieves cover.

While no one has been hurt, Chief Mulligan worries violence could follow. “If they’re that aggressive in entry, if they confront a citizen in that house, I’m concerned about what could occur,” he said.

He’s urging residents to call police if they see any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.


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