Police are warning residents to keep their garage doors closed and locked, even during the daytime, after receiving several reports of a man panhandling in Plainfield neighborhoods.
Sgt. Mike Fisher said he first fielded a report of a man approaching residents in the Spangler’s Farm subdivision, located west of Route 59 near Renwick Road, in late November. He said the man, who was around 60 years old and was driving a gray compact car, was approaching homeowners and asking for money.
“If he sees your garage door open, he’ll go into your garage,” Fisher said. “He’ll ask you for money.”
A resident in Ashbury Farm subdivision, located east of Route 59 and south of Renwick, said neighbors there have also been approached.
The homeowner said she believes she was approached by the man because her garage door was open.
“He tells a rambling story of various misfortunes and then asks for money,” she said.
Fisher noted that police in Shorewood have also gotten similar reports of panhandling.
“I don’t think anybody’s in danger,” Fisher said. “I think he’s just a beggar.”
Fisher urged residents to keep their garage doors closed and locked at all times, and keep their vehicles locked as well.
He said residents shouldn’t hesitate to call the police if they see someone who appears out of place.
“We’d rather come out there and find out that it was a neighbor walking down the street,” Fisher said. “If it’s nothing, great. If it’s something, we’d rather put a stop to it" before property turns up missing, he added.
Fisher said he did stop a man he believed was behind the incident in Spangler's Farm and issued him citations for driving with an expired license and expired insurance. In several other instances, residents have called to report similar incidents, but the alleged panhandler was gone by the time police arrived, Fisher said.