We would like to take this opportunity to remind people to be vigilant following two recent distraction burglary incidents.
The first happened around 11am on Friday (26 June) at a property on Holt Avenue in Bishops Tachbrook.
A man claiming to be there to look at the boiler knocked on the door and was let in by the victim – a woman in her 80s.
He did not say anything further and shortly after he left, the victim noticed jewellery - including two gold watches, a sapphire bracelet, and heart and oval shaped lockets - had been taken.
The man is described as being white, around 5ft 7in tall, of slim build with dark hair. He was dressed smartly wearing a fluorescent coat and dark trousers.
The second incident, which we believe to be linked, took place around 30 minutes later at a property on Campion Road in Leamington.
On this occasion, a man came to the door claiming he needed to check the boiler filter and tank.
He was allowed into the property by the victim – a woman in her 80s – before saying he needed to leave to collect paperwork. He did not return and the victim subsequently noticed a quantity of jewellery had been taken.
The man is described as being white, under 5ft 10in tall, with dark hair. He was reported to be wearing a face covering, and possibly a denim type jacket or shirt. He may also have worn a hat.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton said: “Understandably both of these incidents, which we believe to be linked, were concerning for the victims.
“We are investigating them fully and would appeal for those who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time or noticed any vehicles that may have seemed out of place to come forward.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to remind our communities of our advice around people calling at your door. There may be some individuals seeking to trick their way into your home and although their stories can be very convincing, they are often not genuine.
“Genuine callers will usually have an appointment and anyone who is cold calling should be asked for identification. If you are in any doubt, do not let them in and either call the utility company they are claiming to be from to confirm their identity, or if it is an emergency, dial 999.
“Finally we would encourage you to share our advice below particularly with any elderly and vulnerable individuals you may know so they can be aware of this type of incident and remain vigilant to these types of opportunists.”
Further tips and advice
• check to see who is at the door by using a door viewer, or looking through a front window • put the chain on before you open the door as this is a barrier against unwanted callers • when an unexpected caller claims they work for a utility company, they must be able to quote your password and unique customer number and produce an identity card • if someone claims to be from the police, they should carry an ID card with their photograph on - check this carefully and keep the chain on. This also applies to genuine tradespeople. • if you're unsure about the caller's identity, telephone the company the caller claims to represent, but don't rely on them giving you the number as it may be false - genuine callers won't mind waiting • if you're still unsure, ask the caller to come back later so that you can arrange for a friend or relative to be present • if you feel uncomfortable or are concerned with the person’s presence, call 101 or 999 if a crime is in action
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting 269 of 26 June (Bishops Tachbrook incident) or 184 of 26 June (Leamington incident).