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Distraction Burglary Warning For City

POLICE in Wolverhampton are urging residents to be vigilant after a 64-year-old woman became the victim of a distraction burglary yesterday.

POLICE in Wolverhampton are urging residents to be vigilant after a 64-year-old woman became the victim of a distraction burglary yesterday (Monday 22nd August).

The incident took place between 10.30am and 10.40am yesterday when three men, claiming to be from ‘Customs and Excise’, tricked their way into the property in the Heath Town area of the city and made off with cash and cigarettes.

The offenders are described as:

-         white man, 5ft 6ins to 5ft 7ins tall, medium build, approximately 40 years, black hair, wearing a black suit.

-         white man, 6ft tall, small build, 20-30 years, brown shoulder length hair, wearing a black jacket and white shirt.

-         no description of the third man.

One of the men also claimed to be a detective from Wolverhampton Police and all three spoke in Irish accents. This incident follows a similar burglary last Friday (19 August) in Wednesfield, where cigarettes were also stolen from a property by three men with similar descriptions to yesterday’s burglary.

Local police have issued a reminder urging residents to always ask callers for identification before considering letting them in.

Superintendent Mark Payne, from Wolverhampton Police, said: “Bogus callers often pose as representatives from organisations such as the police, council or the gas or water board in order to gain access to people’s homes.

“You should always ask to see a caller’s identification and check it thoroughly. If you are not expecting anyone and have not invited them, don’t let them in.

“If anyone has information relating to this incident or believes they may have been visited by a bogus caller recently, we would urge them to get in touch.”

Police are offering the following advice to help combat bogus callers:

LOCK – Keep your front and back doors locked, even when you are at home.
STOP – before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through the spy hole or window to see who it is.
CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the chain or door bar on first. Keep the bar or chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.
CHECK – even if they have a pre-arranged appointment, check their identity card carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, look up a phone number in the phone book and ring to verify their identity. Do not use a phone number on the identity card, as this may be fake. If you have any doubts, keep them out!

Anyone with information is urged to contact Wolverhampton Police on 0345 113 5000 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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