BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) – The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is seeking the public’s help in finding two thieves who stole thousands of dollars’ worth of CDs and bonds from an 85-year-old Belle Plaine man.
Officials say the theft happened in early May, and that the victim was a retired doctor. The thieves allegedly knocked on the victim’s door and told him they were roofing contractors.
“It’s deplorable,” Belle Plaine Police Chief Tom Stolee said. “They told our victim that he had a leaky roof, he was unaware.”
One of the thieves, described as a 50-year-old smooth talker, got the victim to walk into another room while a younger suspect carried out the safe from the victim’s bedroom.
The safe was then loaded up onto a Chevrolet pickup with a wooden rack on the side.
The BCA said the suspects may be father and son. The two were reported in Wisconsin earlier in the year in Baron and Polk counties, where they stole safes, money and jewelry from homes in a similar scheme.
Images from surveillance videos also show the men making stops at stores in Woodbury.
“I hate to think of how many people have been victimized and how many people maybe haven’t reported even to local law enforcement,” Stolee said.
The victims are typically older and often widows. The Belle Plaine victim told WCCO his safe also had the wedding ring of his deceased wife. He tried to write down the men’s license plate as they were leaving, but it was covered with a sheet.
“They are good talkers. You know, they can sell their way in,” Stolee said. “We want to bring these people to justice because of what they’re doing, not only in our community … but everywhere as well.”
Stolee says it is a reminder to always do your homework when being approached by an unfamiliar face.
“There is never a dumb question when it comes to protecting yourself and your safety,” Stolee said.
Police found the safe next to a construction site in Apple Valley in July, but the wedding ring was gone. The victim and police were able to recover the CDs and bonds through his bank.
The BCA described the older suspect as 5-feet-11-inches tall, weighing 150 pounds and speaking with a possible Southern accent.
The younger suspect was described as being about 30 years old, standing 5-feet-7-inches tall, and weighing 170 pounds. His face appears sunken because he has no upper teeth.
Officials said he was “not smooth” and did not say much to the victim.
Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call Belle Plaine Police at 952-873-4307.