Police: Contractors use child to distract elderly man in $90,000 theft

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police say an elderly resident in Northeast Philadelphia was taken advantage of by the same people he hired.

Investigators are looking for two to three men, posing as contractors, who stole $90,000 from the man's safe inside his home on Normandy Drive.

John Kilbride, is the victim's son-in-law. He explains that the men were driving a red pickup truck with paving equipment in the back, and had done work on his father-in-law's driveway a few weeks ago.

Kilbride tells us, "Apparently my father-in-law recognized them and they had a child with them. They basically used the child as a decoy."

Police are calling this a distraction robbery. In this case, the men asked to use the bathroom, leaving the victim with the child. Police say instead of using the bathroom, they went straight to the open safe.

Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum says, "Sometimes they will bring kids with them - I think that's part of the scam. They drive around, they see an older person outside the house, they knock on the door and tell them it looks like their driveway or their roof needs work."

Police say the men were also inside the victim's car. Some neighbors saw the red truck, but just assumed he was having work done.

Kilbride says now his father-in-law will never be left alone, knowing the scammers are still out there.

As for the suspects, Kilbride says he doesn't know how they can sleep at night.

"I couldn't sleep. I couldn't put my head on the pillow knowing what I did to this man," he said.

If you have any information on the identity of the suspects or their whereabouts you are urged to contact investigators.
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