Lehigh Valley

Homicide case offers lessons for senior citizens, homeowners

Man accused of killing 2 women returned to Pa.

ALBURTIS, Pa. - Investigators said homicide suspect Brandin Kasick first encountered the Walberts when he was hired to do work at their home.    

Similar circumstances have surrounded other recent homicide cases in the area. So, how can you be sure about who you let in your front door?           

In March, the killings of Althea and Jeanette Walbert in Alburtis, Lehigh County were the latest case of robberies turned deadly.

In February, police said an elderly couple in Spring Township, Berks County, were beaten with a hammer. The wife died in the attack.

Iin 2006 a Phillipsburg, New Jersey, woman was killed in a botched robbery attempt.

In each case police said the victims had hired the accused killers to do various jobs at their homes.

"You can never tell who's going to end up at your front door and that point it  becomes your responsibility to be able to make sure you're assets are protected," said Donna Zimmerman, executive director for Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services office, which urges seniors not to keep large amounts of money in the home.

"There's a reasonable balance between having a safety net of finances at home and not utilizing things such as banks or credit unions to maintain your assets," said Zimmerman.

"Usually you can find reviews, other people's experiences with that contractor." said Chief Robert Palmer, Alburtis Police department

Palmer said people in his borough have increased security measures since the homicides in March.

He said he also tells residents a good way to know who is coming in your home is the Internet and the Department of Justice website.

"You're basically searching for the web dockets of the court so you can see what this person has been arrested for, why they were in court," said Palmer. "That's a great tool."

Those offering protection tips said they realize there is no 100 percent guarantee, but if people are safe, it will be one more way to protect them and their assets in their homes.

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