Author Topic: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries  (Read 4148 times)

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Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« on: March 24, 2005, 02:58:33 pm »
Police have mailed this site to say that there were seven distraction burglaries in the Welwyn Hatfield last Sunday (20 March) including one in Brookmans Park.

All are being investigated by Operation Manhunt, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s initiative to tackle distraction burglary. The crimes have been linked and police are warning householders to be alert and protect themselves from this team of offenders.

The burglaries were carried out by two white women, at times accompanied by a man. The women tricked their way into homes by asking for a pen and paper. Once inside they distracted the victims and removed property before making off.

 Detective Constable Mick Ward from the Constabulary’s Operation Manhunt team said: “This group of criminals are very persuasive and plausible and we are urging all homeowners to be on their guard and take precautions against them.

“We would like to take this opportunity to once again remind everyone of the importance of keeping their door bar or chain on at all times, and only allowing people in when completely convinced that they are who they say they are.”

If you have any information about these crimes, please ring Operation Manhunt on 01707 638256 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. For further advice contact your local police station.
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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006, 03:44:04 pm »
Hertfordshire Constabulary has just sent a news release about bogus door-to-door callers. This one is in St Albans and slightly outside our patch, but the police want everyone to be aware.

May 16, 2006
WARNING TO ELDERLY RESIDENTS
By Corporate Communication Dept


POLICE are issuing a warning to elderly residents after a bogus gas man used force to rob an elderly man in his own home in St Albans.

Following the incident, the 72 year old victim suffered a mild heart attack and had to be admitted to hospital.

The offender approached the victi¡m's home through the rear garden and initially spoke to the victim, who is described as frail, through a back window that was open.

He asked for access to the house in order to read the gas meter. The 72 year old victim did exactly the right thing by asking the offender for some identification.

Unfortunately, the offender then forced his way in through the back door, which had been left ajar.

The suspect has entered various rooms in the house and then went into the bedroom, followed by the victim. The offender has then twisted the victi¡m's right arm up his back and reached around to remove the victi¡m's wallet containing cards and cash from his back pocket.

He then released the victim and ran from the property via the rear door.

The offender is described as a white male, aged mid to late 20s. He was around 5'9" to 5'10" with short fair hair. He was wearing a light coloured short sleeved shirt and jeans. He is described as having a local accent.

The victim remains in hospital, where he is also receiving treatment for injuries to his shoulder.

Detective Inspector Pete Fulham said the victim did exactly the right thing by requesting identification from this man and we would like to stress to everyone, but particularly elderly and vulnerable residents, to follow the advice given below.

  • Distraction burglars come in all ages and sexes and pretend to be legitimate callers, representing companies such as the Water Board or gas and electricity suppliers. They can also use excuses like they want to sell you something, need a glass of water or they need to use the phone.
  • They are often smartly dressed and sometimes wear clothing that looks like uniform and carry fake ID. Beware ¡V they are very plausible.
  • But it's YOUR HOME. Do not be pressurised into letting anyone in that you have any doubts at all about. There is further advice below. Put door chains on both your front and your back doors.
  • Make sure doors are locked - even when you are in the house, or are expecting a caller. It only takes a few seconds for someone to walk in and take a wallet or purse that has been left lying around.
  • Always put the door chain on before you open the door. Alternatively, use a door bar, which is less fiddly than a chain. You can get either from a DIY store and they are inexpensive and easy to fit.
  • Find out what the caller wants and don't feel pressurised into letting them in.
  • If the caller is claiming to be carrying out maintenance work or from a utility company - such as a water supplier - check the caller's ID card and telephone their company. Genuine callers will be happy to wait while you make the check but don't use the number given on the card because if it is a bogus caller the number may be that of an accomplice. Find the number in the phone book instead.
  • If you still feel uneasy, don't let the caller in, or ask them to call back later. You can then ask for advice from a family member, friend or your local police and arrange for someone to be with you if you've asked them to return.
  • Never buy items or pay for services in cash at the door. It lets people know that you have money in the house.
  • Never give work to tradespeople who call at the door - always use a reputable and recommended local firm for such work as gardening, roof repairs and surfacing driveways.
  • Don't keep large sums of money at home. If you know anyone who does, encourage them to save their money in a safer place such as in a bank, building society or post office account.
  • If you are in any doubt or believe that a crime has been committed, call the police on 999.

The key message is simple - if in doubt, keep them out.

/end of news release.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 05:26:48 pm by David Brewer »
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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 07:26:11 am »
Just a word of warning, there have been another three similar news releases from Herts Police (all outside our area) in the last few days. It looks as if bogus door-to-door calllers are fairly active in south Herts at the moment. It might be worth warning any elderly neighbours who are not online and might have missed the warnings.

David
« Last Edit: May 18, 2006, 07:33:05 am by David Brewer »
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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2006, 01:21:19 pm »
A warning from Hertfordshire Constabulary about disraction burglaries in nearby Potters Bar.

June 15, 2006
94 YEAR OLD LADY TARGETED BY DISTRACTION BURGLARS
By Corporate Communication Dept


POLICE are warning elderly and vulnerable residents to be on their guard after a 94 year old Potters Bar lady was targeted by distraction burglars.

The incident occurred at 12.31pm on Monday June 12. The lady was approached by a young man who claimed he wanted to discuss putting extra security measures into the property.

While he was speaking to the victim, two further white males have entered her home through a rear door. Hearing noises inside, the victim has gone back inside where she has seen the two men.

One of them pushed her out of the way and both made off out of the back door in the direction of the high street. They are believed to have stolen a small amount of cash.

All three men were white, all with short dark hair. They were all wearing long sleeve white shirts, black ties and black trousers.

The man who spoke to the victim was believed to be in his early twenties, slim, with a local accent. The second man was also slim and in his mid twenties.

The third man is described as being fat and approximately 30 years old.

Detective Constable Kevin McGoohan said: "This was a despicable act ¡V to target a 94 year old woman. And it's also ironic that they should have the nerve to use improving security as an excuse.

"If anyone has any information about this offence, please ring 01727 796364 and quote reference J3/06/988. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"If you would like advice on making your home more secure, please contact your local Crime Prevention Officer Chrissie Barclay on 01727 796651

"Distraction burglars come in all ages and sexes and pretend to be legitimate callers, representing companies such as the Water Board or gas and electricity suppliers. They can also use excuses like they want to sell you something, need a glass of water or they need to use the phone.

"They are often smartly dressed and sometimes wear clothing that looks like uniform and carry fake ID. Beware ¡V they are very plausible.

"But it's YOUR HOME. Do not be pressurised into letting anyone in that you have any doubts at all about."

There is further advice below.

  • Put door chains on both your front and your back doors. If you need further security devices such as door chains, then please contact your local Crime Prevention Officer Sue Allen on 01727 796020.
  • Make sure doors are locked - even when you are in the house, or are expecting a caller. It only takes a few seconds for someone to walk in and take a wallet or purse that has been left lying around.
  • Always put the door chain on before you open the door. Alternatively, use a door bar, which is less fiddly than a chain. You can get either from a DIY store and they are inexpensive and easy to fit.
  • Find out what the caller wants and don't feel pressurised into letting them in.
  • If the caller is claiming to be carrying out maintenance work or from a utility company - such as a water supplier - check the caller's ID card and telephone their company. Genuine callers will be happy to wait while you make the check but don't use the number given on the card because if it is a bogus caller the number may be that of an accomplice. Find the number in the phone book instead.
  • If you still feel uneasy, don't let the caller in, or ask them to call back later. You can then ask for advice from a family member, friend or your local police and arrange for someone to be with you if you'v asked them to return.
  • Never buy items or pay for services in cash at the door. It lets people know that you have money in the house.
  • Never give work to tradespeople who call at the door - always use a reputable and recommended local firm for such work as gardening, roof repairs and surfacing driveways.
  • Don't keep large sums of money at home. If you know anyone who does, encourage them to save their money in a safer place such as in a bank, building society or post office account.
  • If you are in any doubt or believe that a crime has been committed, call the police on 999.


The key message is simple - if in doubt, keep them out.

/end of police message.
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2006, 08:41:42 am »
Dear Readers,

The elderly people are particularly vulnerable with regard to the distraction burglaries. I would suggest that if the readers have elderly parents living on their own, they advise them to keep the door chain on at all times and not let any strangers in; no matter what their excuse.

Regards.

PC Jitu DAVE
 

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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2006, 06:12:46 pm »
Sound and useful advice. I hope and believe that my 84 year old BP resident mother has enough sense to have thought of this anyway, but I I've contacted my sister to check that all these measures have been implimented in her home.
 

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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2014, 12:25:27 pm »
Images of two men have been released by Hertfordshire police following a number of distraction burglaries in the county. According to police, older people have been targeted with the victims in their 80s and 90s. Police say that if you are approached by the men you should ring 999. Pictures of suspects in the link below.

[float=left]Appeal in connection with burglaries in South East of England [/float]
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Re: Police issue warning about distraction burglaries
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 06:29:15 pm »
Yet another warning from Hertfordshire police about distraction burglaries, this time in Potters Bar. Police are not revealing the exact location but say the latest took place today, Saturday 13 November, between 11am and 12:30pm. They are looking for a slim white male with dark hair in his 20s who was wearing jeans and a black long-sleeved top. It was just one such incident reported locally.

Detective constable Jason Tinsey, who is leading the investigation said all the victims in this recent spate of distraction burglaries were elderly and vulnerable. He is urging anyone with elderly neighbours to be particularly vigilant and check to see if they’re okay. 

“If anyone has seen anyone matching the description, I would urge them to call Operation Manhunt via the non-emergency number 101.”

Police have say that if you are not sure who is calling, don’t open the door. If you are expecting a caller, ask to see their identification before letting them in, and never keep large amounts of cash at home.
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

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