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Burglars Pretend to Be Tree-Trimmers, Rob Home of Elderly Veteran

Entering through the garage door while Sudkamp was out back, the burglar stole his most cherished possession -- a gift from his late wife. 

INDIANAPOLIS -- Retired Marine Corps veteran Bill Sudkamp thought he was getting a tree-trimming consultation Friday afternoon. 

Instead, precious valuables were stolen from his home on Indianapolis' southwest side by the people he thought were working in the area.

Sudkamp, 86, says he was sitting in the garage to his house in the Ridge Hill Trail subdivision Friday when a man walked up the driveway. The man said he wanted to talk about trimming Sudkamp's trees. 

"We walked out through the backyard and then the whole time he's talking in Spanish and I thought maybe he was talking back to his office," Sudkamp said. 

They were outside for half an hour. During that time, a second person was inside his home. 

Entering through the garage door while Sudkamp was out back, the burglar stole his most cherished possession -- a gift from his late wife. 

"He took my Star Sapphire 18 karat gold ring, which was a gift from my wife when I went into the Marine Corps in 1950," Sudkamp said. 

Police have not released a suspect description for the burglary.

Orion Bell, the president and CEO of CICOA, says crimes like this are all too common in central Indiana. 

Bell offers the following advice for older adults:

  • Don't respond to solicitors at your door
  • If you're approached outside, tell them you're not interested
  • Be wary of unmarked cars and anyone without a business card

"If you need a contractor to do some work for your home or your yard you should initiate that," Bell said.

Unfortunately for Sudkamp, he learned the hard way. 

"When he came up and was going to talk to me about trimming the trees, I wish I would've told him I wasn't interested," Sudkamp said.

(Photo by RTV6.) 

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