Police warning following distraction burglaries

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Police warning following distraction burglaries

Police are warning elderly and vulnerable people to be on their guard after distraction burglars called at three homes in the county on Wednesday September 13.

The first incident occurred at around 12.30pm at the address of an elderly couple in the High Street, Northleach.

Two men posing as water board employees approached the male occupant of the property claiming they needed to check pipes on the premises in light of a major water leak that had occurred in the area.

One of the men was allowed inside the house, where he was kept under constant observation by the female occupant.

After spending several minutes turning the bathroom taps on and off he left the premises with his colleague, who had remained outside.

Nothing was stolen during the incident.

Both of the males were white, of medium height and build and both wore dark clothing. One of the males was in his late 20s and the other was in his late 30s. The shorter of the two males also wore a brace on his teeth that affected his speech.

A similar incident occurred at the home of an elderly woman in Lea Road, Brockworth, when two men posing as water board workers called at the address sometime between 3pm and 3.40pm.

Both men entered the property and one went upstairs, accompanied by the victim, while his accomplice remained downstairs turning the kitchen taps on and off.

After a short while the victim became suspicious and she asked both males to leave, which they did. Again, nothing was stolen during the incident.

One of the males is described as being in his 40s with receding black hair. He wore a pale blue shirt and dark trousers.

The second male was younger, around 5ft 6ins tall with straggly hair. He wore a dark jacket and gloves.

The final incident occurred at 3.50pm when a male called at the home of an elderly woman in Bowling Green Lane, Cirencester.

He said he had come to fix a leaking pipe and he was allowed onto the premises.

Once inside the male got the victim to accompany him to the upstairs bathroom on the pretext of looking at the plumbing.

When they returned downstairs the victim saw a second male had entered her property. The two men spoke together before leaving the address.

The victim subsequently found that £250 in cash had been stolen from her home.

The first male to call at the house is described as white, between 25-35 years old, with a slim build and a slightly tanned complexion. He had black hair, a goatee beard and he was wearing black clothing.

The second male was white, between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 8ins tall, with a slightly bigger build than his accomplice. He was wearing a blue shirt and light coloured trousers.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call police on 0845 090 1234, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 278 of September 13.

To guard against falling victim to distraction burglars elderly and vulnerable people are urged to take security precautions whenever a stranger calls at their home.

"Most people who call at your door are genuine, but some are not - they could be thieves or conmen trying to trick their way into your home," said PC Mark Godsland, Crime Reduction Officer for the Cotswolds.

"Bogus callers will pretend to be any one of a number of authentic roles such as officials from the council, gas, electricity or water companies.

"They may say they are workmen needing to make repairs, or even claim to be police officers. Bogus callers are convincing liars and they can take anyone in.

"Whether it's someone claiming to be from the water board or someone offering to tarmac your drive, never let them into your house unless you are sure they are genuine.

"A genuine visitor will always make an appointment first, so you should be wary if someone turns up unexpectedly.

"When someone calls at your home make sure you take a good look at that person through the window or by using the door viewer.

"Always put on the door chain or bar before opening the door, and keep it on while you are talking to them. You should not feel embarrassed about using a door chain - a genuine visitor will not be offended and will expect you to take precautions.

"If you don't have a door chain, get one fitted - it will not cost much. Contact your local police for advice.

"Always ask callers for proof of identity and check it carefully, keeping the chain on the door. Genuine callers will carry identification with their photograph and details of their company or business.

"Don't assume that just because a caller is wearing a uniform, or clothing with a badge or logo, that they are genuine - always ask to see an ID card.

"As a further safeguard you should check the details the caller gives you by calling the organisation they claim to represent - using the number in the phone book, not a number they may give you."

Posted : 14/09/2006 23:18:08

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