Residents Reminded To Be Wary Of Bogus Workers

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Residents Reminded To Be Wary Of Bogus Workers

Posted: 13/02/2007 20:22:42

Gloucester Police are reminding vulnerable residents to be on their guard against criminals trying to talk their way into homes by claiming they have urgent work to do.

The warning follows an incident yesterday in the Abbeymead area of the City during which £250 was stolen from an elderly resident.

Between 3.45pm and 5pm on Monday, February 12, two men called at the home of a woman in her eighties and told her they needed to come in because of a leak from the flat above. When they left, she discovered the cash had gone too.

It follows a suspicious incident in The Forest on Saturday afternoon. A resident discovered two men in his garden and when he challenged them, they claimed to be inspecting overhead power lines.

Forest and Gloucester Division's Detective Inspector Steve Porter said: "Don't let people in unless it's someone you know and trust or a business caller who has made a pre-arranged appointment. Keep the door shut even if they flash ID at you as it could be fake.

"If business callers come to your home without making an appointment, ask them to come back later at an agreed time when you can have someone else with you. In the meantime, check their story by phoning the organization they claim to represent. Look up the number in your telephone book rather than relying on the one on their card when you do this. No representative of a legitimate organization will mind at all waiting while you do this.

"Watch out if the caller appears to be in a hurry and never feel pressured or embarrassed into letting someone in."

DI Porter added: "Don't keep large quantities of money at home, however well you think you have hidden it, it will not be safe as thieves know all the hiding places."

A spokeswoman for Severn Trent Water said: "Our staff rarely need to visit customers' homes without letting them know in advance and will be more than happy to wait outside while their ID is checked out."

She urged people to sign up to the company's password scheme. When someone claiming to work for the firm knocks on the door, the resident asks for a previously agreed and securely held password to verify their claim.

To check if someone is a representative of Severn Trent, call 0800 783 44 44.
Anyone who would like to register a password should call the Access Team on 08457 500 500 , email [email protected] or send a letter to Access Team, Severn Trent Water Ltd. Sherbourne House, St Martin's Road, Finham, Coventry, CV3 6SD.

The offenders involved in yesterday's theft are both white males. One is about 5ft 6 with dark brown, straight hair. Clean-shaven, he was dressed in a light blue denim jacket with dark grey metal buttons and coloured trousers. The other man is about 5ft 3 and was wearing a light blue anorak.

Anyone with information is urged to call Gloucestershire Police on 0845 090 1234 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. Please quote incident number 442 of February 12.

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=1425

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