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Pair use 'lost cat' as decoy in Hemet home burglaries

March 26, 2010 | 11:09 am

The Hemet Police Department warned residents Friday about a burglary scam involving a 9-year-old boy who diverts homeowners by asking for help finding his lost cat.

In two reported incidents, the boy knocked on the front door of a home and told the homeowner his cat has wandered into the backyard, said Cpl. Jeff Dill of the Hemet Police Department.

When the homeowner is occupied looking for the cat in the backyard with the boy, a man walks in the front door and starts burglarizing the home.

"It's a new take on an old burglary scam," Dill said.

Typically, the burglars are two men who say they need to use the phone because their car broke down, and once inside, one of them will ask to use the restroom but will instead begin stealing items from the house," he said.

Both incidents occurred this month during the evening in the 600 block of Shasta Way. Both time the homeowners were alone, but it was unclear whether the intruders knew that, Dill said.

Police did not have a description of the boy but said they were looking for a white man in his 20s, about 5-feet-5 with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a brown fishing hat and driving a black, full-sized  late-model pickup truck, Dill said.

Anyone with information may call Hemet police at (951) 765-3897.

-- Ruben Vives