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Residents encouraged to remain vigilant after distraction burglary

September 16, 2020
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Police have urged residents to remain vigilant against potentially fraudulent callers after a report of a distraction burglary.

An 85-year-old woman was targeted in Regent Street, Beeston at around 8pm on Monday night when a man who is thought to have claimed to have been a "co-worker" is reported to have stolen money from the woman after she let him into her home.

Detectives investigating the incident have reminded the public of their rights when it comes to unexpected callers.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Hall, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “It is incredibly important that people share advice with their potentially vulnerable relatives, neighbours or friends.

“Distraction burglars are opportunists who may pose as a trustworthy individual in order to gain access to your home – they can be very deceptive and convincing.

“The best practice is to follow these simple steps in order to establish whether or not someone is genuine.

  • 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. Keep the chain or bar on while you are talking to the caller. With PVC doors, it can be difficult and costly to fit a door chain, consider fitting a Secure Ring instead.
  • FIRE SAFETY - Only put on your door chain as you answer the door, don’t keep it on all the time as this could delay your exit in case of fire.
  • 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. If you’re still not sure ask the caller to come back later when someone is with you.

“With more people feeling isolated and alone, distraction burglars may see this as an opportunity to target people.

“If you know someone who could benefit from this advice who is not on social media, please call them and make them aware of these tips.”

Detectives investigating the burglary in Beeston have released a description of a white man between 5 foot 10 inches and 6 foot tall who was wearing a blue surgical mask, a black t-shirt with paint on it and black trousers who they would like to speak with in connection with the investigation.

Detective Sergeant Hall added: “If you saw something suspicious in the area at the time or have any information that could aid us in our investigation, please contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 863 of 14 September 2020.”

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101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls are free, no matter how long the call lasts.