Cudahy police believe man reportedly offering to shovel snow may be linked to recent home burglaries

CUDAHY -- After a couple of home burglaries in Cudahy, police believe the suspect may be waiting for snowfall to strike, and they're warning residents to be leery of a man who offers to shovel your driveway. The burglaries coincide with reports in the neighborhood of a man knocking on doors, offering to shovel. If you're not home, he may try to break in.

Teodoro Santiago was shoveling Tuesday, Jan. 23 after a storm dumped heavy, wet snow in SE Wisconsin, and said he's thinking twice about accepting help from strangers after two burglaries in the neighborhood.

"Now we lock the door in back. Before, we keep that door open. Now, we close it just in case," Santiago said.

Cudahy police declined to speak with FOX6 News on camera, but said separate incidents reported on Wednesday, Jan. 17 and Thursday, Jan. 18 on Kirkwood and Kimberly Ave. are cause for alarm. Investigators say both homes were unoccupied when the suspect forced his way in, stealing electronics, cash and jewelry.

"We have cameras at our house, as does my daughter who lives on the corner of Kirkwood over there," Robert Goss said.

Goss said images captured by his home surveillance system are being reviewed by police.

As it turns out, the snow may be the connecting thread in both crimes. Police say they received calls from homeowners on the same snowy day as the burglaries -- reporting someone going door-to-door, offering to shovel.

"Looking like a good Samaritan -- come along and help you out as a ruse to casing your house," Goss said.

One resident told police after they turned the man's offer to shovel down, they watched him poking around a neighbor's porch. While it remains unclear whether this man is the suspect in the break-ins, he's described as a white man in his 20s, wearing a black hoodie, blue scarf and mirrored sunglasses with gold rims. He's roughly 5'5" and 180 pounds.

Tank

Goss said he'll be watching out for him, with help from his watchdog Tank.

"Tank will bark at everyone walking by," Goss said.

Meanwhile, Cudahy police have stepped up patrols in the area, and there have been no other reported incidents.