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Elderly woman robbed in 'distraction scheme'

'Don't answer the door unless you're expecting someone,' woman warns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An elderly Jacksonville woman on Thursday sent a warning to others less than a week after two men came to her home and robbed her. 

"Don't answer the door unless you're expecting someone," the woman, who did not want to be identified, said. 

She told News4Jax she now realizes she's lucky that the men only took material items. She explained how one of the men distracted her in her backyard while the other grabbed her jewelry and money. 

On March 21, she got an unexpected knock at the door. 

"I looked out of the window and there was a truck parked in the driveway and there was some man sitting behind the wheel," she said. "I refused to answer the door because I didn't recognize the car or the person."

Though she didn't want to answer the door, the person wouldn't stop knocking. At one point, she said, he knocked hard enough that she thought something was wrong. 

"So like a fool, I answer the door. There was this young man standing there. (He) looked like he was about 28 years old, very clean cut kid and he said to me, 'I hate to bother you, but I'm doing some landscaping in the neighborhood.'"

The man then guided the woman to the backyard, but after a while of chatting she said she got suspicious and asked him to leave.

"He took me by the arm. He placed me at the back door, saw that I got in properly and that was it," she said. 

The entire time her front door was left unlocked as another man waited inside the car in her driveway.

It wasn't until the next day when Lewis went to grab a necklace from her jewelry box that she noticed it was gone, along with other pieces of jewelry and her money. 

She said she believes the landscaper distracted her while the other man in the car stole her things. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith advised homeowners to always make sure their doors are locked, speak with a landscapers outside and don't let strangers inside.