Thieves disguised as construction workers hit homes in Brighton Township

Neighbors on alert after reports of thieves targeting elderly homeowners in Brighton Township

Published On: Apr 19 2012 06:29:01 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 19 2012 06:42:48 PM EDT

Neighbors in Brighton Township are on high alert after reports of thieves dressed as construction workers.

Mike Palmer caught them in action and chased them out of the neighborhood. Palmer's 89-year-old neighbor, who relies on a walker to get around, wasn't as lucky.

"It's crazy. It doesn't make any sense," Palmer said. "I mean, it's tough for anybody right now, but you know, for senior citizens ... come on. It doesn't make any sense.

Michigan State Police say a group of men disguised as construction workers have been preying on elderly residents in the area near Fonda Lake, Island Lake and Briggs Lake.

Police say one man goes to the front door to distract the homeowner, often luring them to the backyard. Meanwhile, his accomplices head inside the home, stealing anything and everything they can.

That's exactly what happened to Palmer's neighbor. The crooks stole all jewelry and cash from his neighbor's home.

Brighton Township officials have issued a warning on the township's website.

"I hope they catch them, and sooner or later they are going to," Palmer said.

The thieves have been targeting homeowners in the neighborhoods off of Grand River Avenue for the past two weeks.

Police said they have a description of a man they are calling the ring leader. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches with a thick beard, distinct glasses and he speaks with an accent.