Advice News Policing

Advice on Distraction Burglaries

West Midlands PoliceWest Midlands Police have reported a number of ‘distraction burglaries’ this week in the Wednesfield area and local officers believe that a group of burglars are targeting elderly and vulnerable people.

Two incidents were reported to detectives in Wednesfield on 22nd September where men posing as ‘Water Board’ officials conned their way into the homes of pensioners in Bilston and Wednesfield, along with a third incident nearby.

Detective sergeant Annie O’Grady said: “We are in the early stages of this inquiry, however we are investigating links between the three incidents at this time.”

“We are keen to speak to any witnesses to these incidents, or anyone who may have had a suspicious caller at their door in recent days, particularly if they have claimed to be from the ‘Water Board’.

“We, as ever, warn pensioners to be cautious when answering the door to strangers and to always ask for identification. We remind people that there is no such thing at the ‘Water Board’ any more, and people should be suspicious of anyone claiming to be from such a place.”

Anyone with information to assist the police investigation is urged to contact CID at Wednesfield police station on 0845 113 5000.

The force has issued the following tips to elderly and vulnerable people as well as family members, neighbours and friends:

  • Look out for any suspicious people hanging around your street, be they men, women or children (distraction burglars come in many shapes and forms).
  • Listen out for your neighbours calling for help or arguing with people on their doorstep.
  • Help to install view-holes, door bars, locks and chains on their front doors, which will help to provide some extra security.
  • Take time out to pop in and see your elderly neighbours regularly.
  • Don’t be afraid to get involved – especially if you think people are acting suspiciously. Put your mind at rest and ask for some ID, and check with the legitimate company to make sure the ID is genuine. Find the number from your phone book, instead of taking a number from the caller.
  • Take a note of any suspicious vehicles or descriptions of possible offenders.
  • Don’t be afraid to call the police.
  • Remember – there is no longer any such firm as the ‘Water Board’.

Source: West Midlands Police

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