Bedfordshire Police are warning elderly people to be on the look out for a pair of distraction burglars....
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Beware Distraction Burglars

Posted on August 9, 2010

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are warning elderly people to be on the look out for a pair of distraction burglars after three similar incidents in Dunstable, Barton-Le-Clay and Bedford.

On 31 July at around 11am in Chiltern Road, Dunstable, two offenders knocked on the door of the victim, an elderly blind man, and told him that a large tree in his garden needed cutting down. They asked him to go into the garden with them so they could describe the problems it is causing. While at the bottom of the garden one of the offenders has searched the house. The two men have then left saying they would return on another day to do the work. The victim has then discovered that cash, cheque book and documents had been stolen.

On 3 August at around 11am in Granville Street, Bedford, two men told the elderly victim that they would replace his loose guttering at the rear of his property. The victim has allowed the men into his house and shown them around. The men have left saying they will return in half an hour. When they have gone the victim has discovered money has been taken. In this case one of the men is described between 20-30 years old with fair hair, wearing light coloured sleeveless top and light coloured trousers.

On the 7 August around 11am Dunstall Road, Barton Le Clay offenders have attended the property and the victim has let the offenders in who have offered to cut the hedges. They have engaged the victim in conversation, and have removed money. The offenders have left in a small grey car. One offender was described as male; around 5 foot 7 inches tall, white, around 35 years old, fat, and had a local accent.

PC Ron Callender, investigating, said: “People should be wary of people calling at their homes offered to do work for them at low prices. They should not let strangers into their homes or leave them unattended. If anyone has any information about these burglaries or has suffered a similar theft they can contact me or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Follow this advice to protect yourself against distraction burglaries:

  • Always ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in - if you are worried, ask them to wait outside while you close the door and call their company.
  • If someone keeps you talking on the doorstep, be aware of any movement or activity in the rest of the house - before you answer the door, you should check all back doors, patio doors and windows are close and preferably locked.
  • Mark all your valuables with your house number and postcode - contact your Crime Reduction Team for more information.
  • Never keep a large amount of money in the house - keep in the bank or post office.
  • Don't keep your chequebook and cards in the same place - a thief could use the card to forge your signature on cheques.
  • Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true - a free holiday, cash prizes, cures for arthritis or cancer, or low-risk high-return investment schemes.
  • Don't buy goods or services from doorstep callers and NEVER let them into your home.

If you have any information about these crimes or other suspicious incidents or crimes, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to [email protected]

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

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