Police are warning residents in the Hart and Rushmoor areas to remain vigilant – and too look out for vulnerable neighbours and relatives – in relation to doorstep fraud and distraction burglaries.
A distraction burglary is when someone comes to your home under false pretences, often pretending to be from local authorities or utility services such as the gas, electricity, or water board.
Often, one person will be distracting you as another looks for items to steal from your home.
This advice follows two incidents in Rushmoor in the past couple of days.
On the 8 June, at around 9.30am, two men knocked at an address on Cambridge Road, Aldershot, claiming to be from the water board.
Once inside, they distracted the elderly residents by asking them to turn on taps and flush the toilets. As they were doing this, the two suspects stole a quantity of cash from the address.
Another incident happened at an address on Chapel Lane, Farnborough, on the 11 June.
A man knocked on the door claiming to be from the water board. He was in the house for around 15 minutes, and as he left the victim saw another man run out of the house after him.
The victim later realised that a large quantity of cash had been stolen.
Did you see anything suspicious? Police are very keen to speak with anyone who has information, or CCTV or dash cam footage, that may be able to assist their investigation. Please phone 101 with reference 44210223204.
Here’s some advice to follow:
Always be on your guard when anyone you’re not expecting – a man, woman or even a child – turns up at your door. An honest face or good story can hide a trick to get into your home.
• LOCK – Keep your front and back doors locked even when you are at home.
• STOP – Before you answer, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone. Check you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a spy hole or window to see who the caller is.
• CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the chain or door bar on first, if you have one.
• CHECK – Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation name or logo. Even if the caller has a pre-arranged appointment with you, check their identification card carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, call the company concerned to verify their representative’s identity. Don’t call the number on the card they give you, look it up independently.
If you think a bogus caller has been to your home, call the police immediately on 999.