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Posted on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 9:11 a.m.

91-year-old woman's home in Ann Arbor is ransacked by men posing as repairmen

By Lee Higgins

Ann Arbor police are working to identify two men who posed as repairmen, then ransacked a 91-year-old woman's home Thursday, stealing cash.

The men knocked on the door of the Arella Boulevard home about 11:30 am., telling the woman they were there to repair the roof, police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said.

Bush said the men claimed that they needed to replace shingles that had been damaged during a storm. The woman had not called for anyone to repair the roof, Bush said, but let the men inside. That's when the men ransacked the house and took cash, Bush said.

One of the men was white, heavy set and had dark hair. A description of the other man was not available. Bush said the men were believed to have been traveling in a silver pickup truck.

The incident was reported at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Bush said. So far, police have interviewed at least one witness besides the woman..

Bush said police have not received any similar reports recently on the city's west side. She reminded people to keep their doors locked and not open the door for strangers.

Anyone with information can call the police department's confidential tip line at (734) 794-6939.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 794-6939 and email at


Dog Guy

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

This is one of the four offenses which cry to heaven for vengeance.

Deb Burch

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

Is the women OK? Does she need any help?

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

About 15 years ago two men came to my elderly mother's home on Arborview and told her that they would remove a tree limb from a tree in her backyard which was going to fall on her house. My sweet naive mother was worried and allowed the men to cut a limb off the tree. They left the tree limb and also left with $1400 cash that my mother had kept in her house. She even allowed one of the men in for a drink of water. Please talk to your elderly neighbors and family about trusting strangers. She was not harmed physically, but could have been. She felt terrible about it.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

And this happened BEFORE the police cuts JohnA2!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

I live right across the street! the only reason I knew about it at all was I saw the Channel 4 news truck outside today interviewing my neighbor. despite the fact that I was home all during that time Thursday, with my front door open, the cops didn't bother to ask me anything or to alert me that this happened. in fact I haven't seen any police at all.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

We really have to stress to Senior Citizens not to open the door to anyone. If I don't get an estimate of any damage, a call from my insurance company, nobody needs to come here. I am so glad the woman was not injured, but what a horrible experience. I remember when a van pulled into my drive, two men came to my front door and turned the door knob. I set my alarm off myself. They left in a hurry. I couldn't get a plate # so I didn't call 911. (never saw the van again) My gun was locked in the safe, so to set the alarm was my best option.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

@ John A2, I like your post particularily your unenjoyment(unemployment) reference. Clever.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

I live in this neighborhood. It would have been nice to know about this on maybe, Friday.........


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

I agree but out of curiosity, what would you have done with this info? What would you have changed?

Bob Carlin

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

Years ago, I worked in an office at 4th and Liberty. There was a robbery and a gunshot was fired. The police grabbed the robbers as they ran out the door. I asked the police how they caught them so rapidly. The officer told me she spotted them walking around downtown and followed them because they looked suspicious. Today, I wonder if the the police have enough officers to follow someone they think is dangerous.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

I don't think so Ricebrnr. When it gets to the point that calls are backed up and the officers go from on call to the next, to the next and so on, yes. But I don't think it is that bad yet. You have a point though, with fewer patrols you have fewer to spread out the calls. I still think that with certain scheduling they could have 20 officers on patrol at all times and that should be sufficient.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

answer is no, because when your story occurred there were "beat" officers and bike officers patrolling downtown. On the spot and watching out for such activities (PROACTIVE). Not so anymore.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

Despicable!! There is a special place you know where for people who prey on the eldery/handicapped. Big men, huh, have to steal...from a 91-yr-old woman. Pathetic.

John A2

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

This is the future of A2, and it's not going to get any better. The word is out that A2 has let down it's guard, and that gives criminals invitation to come and make themselves at home here. The police are reactive now rather than proactive. Cutting the police force when they should have increased it, just made it ever so easier for a criminals to Come here to our rich city. A2 is now a choice place to strike, and with people loosing their unenjoiment (unemployment), there's going to be more and more of this behavior.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

The comment by JohnA2 is one of the most ridiculous post. It is clear he does not have a clue and is just venting. While I am angry that police and fire services are being cut back drastically it does no good to make statements that are this far out in left or right field!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Johnny is correct. In fact a police car could have been sitting right in front of this home and what happened would not look at all suspicious.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Comments have gotten silly. Police work is reactive by nature. How about gun turrets with sharpshooters on every block?


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

just wait unlike the Maya turns over law enforcement to the what next summer? The response time will be extended and perps know that so they have a better chance to do the crime with lots of get away!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

Oh please. You could have a police officer for every block in the city and not stop crime from happening. People will commit crimes. It has happened since the dawn of time. Please let us all know the period of time when there was not crime in Ann Arbor.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

&quot;Police have not received any similar reports recently on the city's west side&quot;....... That's strange they would say that, because, though not the same method, there were two robbery attempts recently on Kay Parkway, which is the street next to Arella. The Kay Parkway incident was odd because someone attempted to break a house in one day, then the owner installed a new dead bolt, and 4 days later, another break-in was attempted at that same house. Here's the news article: <a href=""></a> I hope that this poor 91-year old lady was not injured. It must have been a terrifying experience.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

I agree it must have been a terrifying experience. How can anyone feel safe after something like this has happened...


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

If you commit a crime agains children, the elderly, or the disabled, your sentence should be tripled. But these days, that would mean 3 years probation instead of 1. Public horsewhipping used to be a powerful deterrent. But it's not PC to be mean to criminals.


Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

djacks24 - pretty sure tdw was being sarcastic.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

&quot;Don't you realize that they are victims of society and the economy ? I'm sure they'd rather put in a honest days work than robbing someone who is helpless&quot; That is the most ridiculous thing I've read on this site to date! That's like saying rape is a cry for help. Or justifying child abuse because the abuser also had a bad childhood. We all know the difference between right and wrong and there is no justifiable reason for anyone to steal from somebody because society isn't providing enough opportunity.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

Johnnya2, I find it very sad that you did not include this woman's dignity and peace of mind in her sunset years amongst the &quot;valuable&quot; things taken from her.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I'm with you Jeff, thugs that prey on the weak, infirmed, and smaller than they are cowards that serve no purpose in're too kind to just triple the, I'm for complete eradication...unfortunately, A2 is a town of victims because of the prevalent PC , as well as criminals that perceive kindness as a weakness and pounce on it like the animals they are.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Don't you realize that they are victims of society and the economy ? I'm sure they'd rather put in a honest days work than robbing someone who is helpless


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

Why should a sentence be tripled? I guess we really do not want an equal society? I also think it is ridiculous to make killing a police officer a more serious offense than killing any other human being. This crime is a small crime at best. They took STUFF. They did not rape her, or kill her, It was money.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Isn't that nice