Distraction burglaries

Sotry by Graham Jones

A man wearing a high-vis coat, tricked his way into homes intending to rob them. He succeeded on one known occasion.

These “distraction burglars” pretend to be from a utility company, or “council” using fake ID or distinctive clothing and demand entry to the victim’s home. They may try to go upstairs “to check the water pressure” or send the victim to the kitchen while they loot valuables elsewhere.

One victim in her nineties told me that an intruder had said he had turned off the gas and needed to go upstairs. She was not robbed but was distressed by this attempt.

 

Police advise not to open the door to any unknown person and protect yourself.
• Lock your back door and close windows before answering the door
• Check the caller using a spy hole and chain before you answer

 

• Ask to see the caller’s ID, even if they have made an appointment to see you, and call their company yourself (not on a number they provide)
• Never leave the door open and unattended
• Call 0800 33 66 99 to set up a password for gas and electricity staff to use when they call or check  someone’s identity
If a crime is taking place, call 999.

 

To report suspicious  activity, call the police on 101.