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Residents urged to be vigilant after distraction burglaries

February 7, 2018
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Police are appealing for witnesses and warning residents to be vigilant following a distraction burglary and an attempted distraction burglary in Broxtowe.

The incidents, which are believed to be linked, happened in Browtowe Lane between 3.30pm and 3.50pm yesterday (Tuesday 6 February 2018).

At about 3.30pm an 80-year-old woman answered the door to a man asking if she wanted her guttering cleaning. She said no and the man left. He was then seen talking to another man in a beige-coloured car.

Minutes later she got another knock on her door. A younger man said he’d come to check her water. She refused to open her door and called the police.

The younger man is white, about 5ft 3ins tall, about 19-years-old and of average build. He was wearing a black beanie hat and blue overalls.

The older man is white, about 5ft 5ins to 5ft 6ins tall, about 50-years-old and of thin build. He was wearing dark clothing and a black hat.

Between 3.30pm and 3.50pm a woman in her 80s answered the door to a man said he needed to check her water as the gas board had cut through a pipe.

She let him into her kitchen where the man, who was wearing gloves, turned her taps on and off. The woman became suspicious and shouted her son’s name from the bottom of her stairs. At this point  a second man, who hadn’t previously been seen by the victim, ran down the stairs and both ran off.

Nothing was taken. The men, who were described as white and with short blond hair, ran off towards Aspley Lane.

One of the men is about 20-years-old and was wearing beige trousers and a blue jacket. The other man, shorter than the other, was wearing a dark coloured hat and dark clothing. One of them had a bottle which the men were seen to be checking in the woman’s kitchen.

Officers investigating both incidents are appealing for anyone who has any information to get in touch.

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson said: "Both women were left feeling distressed and anxious and we’re working hard to identify those involved so we can bring them to justice.

"We’re still in the early stages of our investigation into these opportunistic incidents but we’d urge residents to remain vigilant and we’re appealing for anyone with any information to get in touch with us by calling 101.

"We’d advise people to always be on your guard when anyone you’re not expecting - a man, woman or even a child - turns up at your door.  Before you answer, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone. Check you have locked the back door and taken the key out and look through a spy hole or window to see who the caller is.

"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. 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.

"Even if the caller is claiming to be from an official organisation or 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."

"If someone calls at your property saying 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 is at your door call us immediately on 999.

"If you see someone approaching a property and are suspicious about it, please report this to us on 101 and where possible, note any descriptive details.

"We’d also urge people to look out for their neighbours as well and, if you have elderly relatives, please pass on our crime prevention advice."

More advice and information can be found on our website: https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention/distraction

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.