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Police say burglars are posing as salesmen to target homes, shares their tactics

Some burglars in Gwinnett County pretend to be door-to-door salesmen or canvassers to see if anyone is home. If not, they break in.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The Gwinnett County Police department wants residents to be aware of a burglary scheme that is becoming more frequent in the community. 

Some burglars in the Gwinnett County area are posing as door-to-door salesmen or canvassers to see if a resident will answer the door.

If no one answers after the first attempt, the burglar then goes to the back door and knocks there. 

If no one answers again, the burglar forces entry through the back door and burglarizes the residence, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department.

This very thing happened to a Lawrenceville family Oct. 18 when police were called to their home that burglars ransacked and stole jewelry, handbags and cash. 

The family captured this burglary with their home cameras.

"This is a very common method of operation for burglars throughout all of the years I've been here. It's not a particular group or a particular suspect," Gwinnett County Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Jake Smith said. 

Smith told 11Alive that residents should also be aware of county ordinances for door-to-door solicitors or canvassers.

Gwinnett County requires solicitors or canvassers to acquire a permit. The permit ID card must be displayed prominently on their person. 

Business owners in unincorporated Gwinnett can apply for this permit through the police department's permit unit.

There are exceptions to this rule, however. Children under age 15 who are going door-to-door for a non-profit organization, for example, are exempt from this requirement.

Police say residents should be suspicious of any adult soliciting or canvassing without this ID card and are encouraged to call police. 

"What we want people to be aware of is when they see somebody knocking at the front door, they need to be a little suspicious. If you're home or inside, call out and let them know you are there," Smith said. 

Smith also recommends that residents use security devices such as Ring doorbell or camera to monitor their homes. 

Police also recommend that residents, especially business owners, use a bank to secure cash instead of storing large sums of money in their home which can be an easy target. 

To report suspicious activity, call 770-513-5100 after the incident. In the event of an emergency, call 911. 

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