“If in doubt, keep them out” – reminder to stay vigilant against distraction burglars
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Homeowners are being urged to remember to stay vigilant when it comes to allowing strangers into their homes.
Nottinghamshire Police is reminding residents not to allow strangers into their properties and keep doors locked even when they are inside.
Burglars will use a variety of ways to avoid being noticed and pounce on unsuspecting homes and businesses for their own criminal gain.
Distraction burglars will pretend to be someone they are not in order to gain access to a property and in some cases will act in pairs or groups.
The reminder comes after the force received three reports of suspected distraction burglaries taking place in the Gedling and Newark areas over the last week.
It is important everyone knows the signs to look out for and the common methods being used by thieves and criminals blighting our communities.
Common methods used by distraction burglars include:
- Pretending to work for a care agency, the council, or a utility company investigating a gas or water leak
- Asking for help to leave a neighbour a note or claiming to be thirsty or unwell
- Claiming to be in a hurry or emergency to get home quickly
- Distraction burglars often work in teams, with one person distracting you while the other searches your home.
There are things and equipment you can install to prevent distraction burglaries from occurring including:
- Using your door viewer to see who is there
- Put the chain on the door before opening
- Always ask for ID and check it with the company before allowing a contractor or businessperson into your home
- Close the door while you make a call to the customer service department to check their authenticity
- For any pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up
- Genuine callers won’t mind if checks are made
- If you ever feel unsure schedule a time for the caller to return when you have a friend or relative with you
If you ever feel threatened by a caller, notice something suspicious, or feel you are in danger call 999.
Detective Constable Millie Gillett, of Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated burglary team, said: “We want to remind people about the importance of ensuring a caller is who they say they are.
“Distraction burglars often act in pairs and are opportunists looking to prey on people’s hospitality or the simple mistake of forgetting to lock a door.
“Please remember these tips when it comes to securing your home and put them into action if you ever receive a knock at the door from someone you do not know.
“We want to remind people – especially those who are vulnerable or elderly – not to answer the door to anybody who calls unannounced, especially to anyone who claims to be a workman or a stranger who claims to really need to get inside your house due to an emergency.
“Please also remember even when you are inside your own home to keep your doors locked and secure.
“Burglaries are a complete invasion into someone’s safe space, privacy, and home which is why we take such a strong stance in dealing with them.
“We have two specialist dedicated burglary teams who work round the clock investigating reports of burglaries in the county and we all work incredibly hard to bring burglars to justice.
“If you ever feel threatened or in danger, call 999 in an emergency.”