Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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Humberside Police advise residents to be vigilant to distraction burglars

by Steve Beasant on 26 March, 2015

Humberside Police are reminding people to be vigilant about allowing unexpected or unknown callers into their homes following two recent distraction burglaries in Grimsby.

The first incident happened between 2000hrs and 2015hrs on Thursday 19 March 2015 at a property on Kesgrave Street in Grimsby when an elderly man answered the door to a woman asking to use his toilet. The man did not know the woman but allowed her in to his house. After the woman left, the man realised his wallet was missing containing an amount of cash.

The wallet was recovered a short time later but the money had been removed from it.

The second incident happened later on in the evening of Thursday 9 March 2015 between 2200hrs and 2230hrs at a property in Oxford Street in Grimsby . On this occasion a woman not known to the resident called and asked to use the telephone and was allowed in by the householder to do so.

The caller distracted the householder by asking for a cup of tea and, when left alone in the room, it is believed the woman took a purse belonging to the resident. The purse contained an amount of cash and bank cards.

No description of the offender in either case is available.

Anyone with information is asked to call Humberside Police on 101 quoting crime reference numbers 2103435 or 2103274 respectively.

To avoid becoming a victim of distraction burglars, follow the advice from Humberside Police listed below:

Distraction Burglars and Rogue Traders refer to a group of people who make false claims in order to extort or steal from people.

This can include claiming to be representing a company or charity to gain entry into homes before stealing items while occupants are distracted or the practice of deliberately overcharging for unsatisfactory goods and/or services.

It is known that the offenders travel large distances to commit crime and some of them exchange information on victims and successful criminal methods or scams.

To help provide some guidance to residents Humberside Police have offered the following advice in connection with rogue traders and distraction burglars:

LOCK, STOP, CHAIN and CHECK: When someone calls at your door and offers to do repairs to your home or to ask for urgent help, or when someone official knocks on your door, follow these simple steps to help protect yourself and your home from bogus callers.

  • LOCK: Keep your front and back doors locked at all times, even when at home.
  • STOP: Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked any back doors and taken the key out. Look through the spy hole or the window to see who it is.
  • CHAIN: If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or bar on first. Keep the bar or chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep. Some bogus callers call on older and vulnerable people saying they need help urgently. They may ask you to help them outside the house or ask to come in to make a phone call or have a glass of water. Only go to help them if you have someone else with you. Don’t worry if you choose not to help it is not rude or unfriendly. Normally, when the door is shut and locked, leave the bar or chain off in case you need to get out in an emergency or a carer or relative needs to gain access with a key from outside.
  • CHECK: If someone who looks official calls at your door, always do the following. Ask for and carefully check their identity card, even if they have a prearranged appointment (all genuine callers will carry one). Do they look like the person on the card? Is the name the same one as that on your letter? Close the door while you do this. If you are not expecting them and they have not shown you an identity card, do not let them in until you have checked and double-checked that the caller is genuine. If you think the caller is genuine, but you would rather have a friend or relative with you, ask the caller to rearrange to a time when you are not on your own.

ONLY LET THEM IN WHEN YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THEY ARE GENUINE.

Genuine callers will always be happy to make an appointment to call and will carry an identity card with a photograph. They won’t mind waiting if you want to phone and confirm their identity or want to rearrange the appointment. If you are going to ring the company or organisation the caller claims to be from, don’t rely on a number provided by them, you could be ringing an accomplice sat in the van outside.

 

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