There is a disturbing trend developing in the University District.
Pretending to be lawn crews, burglars are infiltrating neighborhoods in the University District, and residents are growing nervous.
The crews do light weed-whacking and lawn upkeep around houses while identifying access points within the house. By doing so, they become familiar with the residential home for a later burglary.
Details about the scam, including the name the burglars use for their fake business, were not available, but their modus operandi is the same throughout each instance reported.
While it is hard to pin down specific numbers of burglaries that have happened directly as a result, it is certain that there is a new sense of caution when it comes to hiring yard crews and anyone looking for odd job work.
According to Weichert.com, a branch of Weichert Realtors, property burglary is one of the more frequently-occurring crimes in the University District. On a 5-point scale, burglary registers a 4.0 in terms of frequency, which is just below personal robbery with a 4.55 scale.
“It’s definitely a scary issue,” said Heather Lawrence, another Sherwood Forest resident. “I’m a single lady, and I don’t have much in the way of protection. This just shows you that you have to be careful with who you allow around your home and especially in it.”
Neighborhood officials say that if you have information regarding the burglars posing as landscapers, you should report it to (901) 545-COPS, the tip hotline for the Memphis Police Department.
Young said he realizes it might hurt local lawn care businesses, but that in this day and age, it’s important to be more safe than sorry – as economically damaging as that may be to surrounding
“That’s just the harsh reality of life nowadays,” he said.“You have to exercise extreme caution with who you entrust your home. People will take advantage of your hospitality and kindness no matter what, so the best action you can take is to just take no action at all. It’s better to abstain
than be sorry later.”