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Appeal and warning after distraction burglary in Carlton

September 11, 2018
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Police are appealing for information and warning homeowners to be vigilant following a distraction burglary in the Carlton area of Nottingham.

The occupants were sat in the lounge of their home in Watson Avenue when a man came in through the back door.

He told the couple he was from Neighbourhood Watch and that he needed the woman occupant to help him search around the front of the house.

At this point she became aware that there was another suspect upstairs.

Both men, who are white and were wearing face coverings, then fled through the front door. One of them  is about 5ft 8ins tall and of medium build.

It happened at around 9.20pm yesterday (Monday 10 September 2018).

Detective Inspector Kayne Rukas said: "Our enquiries are ongoing and we’re appealing for any witnesses or anyone with any information about this burglary to call us on 101, quoting incident number 909 of 10 September 2018.

"We’d urge people to make sure their front and back doors and windows are locked at all times, even when they’re at home.

"Distraction burglars often prey on our most vulnerable residents, tricking their way into homes by making up stories, by pretending to work for an official company or asking for help to try to gain entry.

"We want to remind people to be on their guard, especially if someone you’re not expecting – a man, woman or even a child – knocks on your door.

"Don’t allow anyone without valid identification access to your home and, if you’re unsure, don’t let them in. Keep the chain on the door while talking to them and check with the company that the person is purporting to be from.

"Our advice is always to say no to cold-callers and to report any suspicious activity to police immediately."

There is lots of advice you can follow to prevent you from becoming a victim of distraction burglary:

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. Check with the manufacturer before you buy a PVC door, that a chain can be fitted.

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.

Bogus callers:

You should never agree to have any work done by someone who is just passing by.

Ensure your back door is locked if you are answering the front door to someone you don’t know.

Watch out for anyone who says they’re in a hurry or it’s an emergency. Don’t let them pressure you. If in doubt, call a neighbour or friend or the police.

If you think a bogus caller has been to your home, call the police immediately on 999.

Never let someone into your house because you don't want to seem rude or unsympathetic.

Consider fitting a door chain and spy-hole to your front door; outside lighting can also help you identify callers. Never let anyone into your home unless you are satisfied about who they are and what they want.

Public service employees are required to show identity cards when they come to your home. Examine the card carefully as fake cards have been used. The card should have a photograph and the name of the organisation. If you are at all worried, ring the organisation to check the caller is genuine. Use the telephone number given in the phone book or on your utility bill, rather than the one printed on the identity card. A genuine worker won't mind waiting.

Most energy companies give you the option to submit readings by phone and online, and this could be used to avoid the above situation.

If you need to have your meters checked but have difficulty reading identity cards, ring the number given on your bills and ask if they operate a free password scheme. This would mean that when a meter reader called they would identify themselves by the password you have given.

Be wary of employing tradespeople who come to the door offering bargain prices for work they say you need doing to your house. If you need building work doing, it is usually best to ask for several written quotes from trustworthy and established firms.

If you have a back door, make sure it is locked before answering the front door. Some thieves work in pairs and one will keep victims talking at the front door while the other tries to enter by the back door.

Your local council may provide a community alarm scheme for elderly or disabled people. Ask at your local police station or council offices.

If you are at all nervous, you could ask whoever is at the door to come back at an appointed time and arrange to have someone with you.

For more advice on how to deal with unwanted callers, please follow this link https://bit.ly/2N4Pn0p

Incident Number: 


101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls cost 15p, no matter how long the call lasts.