Bogus water board officials
Posted: 04/10/2007 10:55:32
Police are appealing for information about a distraction burglary in Bromsgrove in which £1,000 cash was stolen.
The victim, a woman in her late 70s, received a knock on her door in Charford Road, Charford, at about 3.15pm yesterday, Tuesday 2nd October, from two men claiming to be from the water board, who told her the water was contaminated. They asked where the stop cock was, turned on the taps, and got the victim outside watching the drain to see if water was coming through.
The victim had asked to see their identification but was told they had left it in their vehicle and that it was urgent they come in.
Both men were white. One was aged about 30, with fair-ish curly hair, was scruffily dressed, and had an Irish accent. The other had short dark hair, was slightly smarter, wearing dark trousers and a navy jumper, and had a foreign accent, possibly Polish.
They walked off in the direction of Worcester Road.
The victim later discovered £1,000 cash missing from various locations around the house.
Officers are looking into whether the offences are linked to similar distraction burglaries involving bogus water board officials in Worcester and Droitwich yesterday.
Bromsgrove Police's Crime Reduction Officer PC Stan Baker said: "We cannot stress highly enough there is no such thing as the water board. Callers from utility companies will always carry identification and householders should not accept any excuses for them not having this. If in any doubt, close the door.
"We are appealing for people with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours to remind them of these points. Please also ask them not to keep large sums of cash in the house."
West Mercia Constabulary's Knock Knock campaign offers crime prevention advice and calls on everyone to help tackle these heartless crimes.
Members of the local community can help by:
* Keeping an eye on people calling in the area or acting suspiciously
* Noting the registration numbers of vehicles parked in the area for a period of time
* Encouraging vulnerable people to check a callerís identity carefully and to keep their door on a chain. If they have any doubt about the callerís integrity they should not let them into their home
* Call on vulnerable people on a regular basis. If it is not too much trouble, help them keep their front garden tidy and find reliable tradespeople for any maintenance work that really does need to be undertaken
* Calling 08457 444888 to provide information to the police about suspicious people, activity or vehicles however insignificant it may seem
* If a distraction burglary has taken place or been attempted, encourage the victim to report it as quickly as possible
Anyone with information about yesterday's incident is asked to contact Bromsgrove Police on 08457 444888 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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