Warning follows distraction burglaries – Atherstone/Hampton Magna
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We would like to remind people to be vigilant after distraction burglaries took place in Atherstone and Hampton Magna.
Shortly before 8pm on Wednesday (7 June) a man claiming to be from a water company knocked on the doors of four neighbouring properties on Knowle Hill in Hurley.
He told them the water had been contaminated and asked them to gather in one of the properties while he carried out some tests. When he left, having completed the tests, three of the four homeowners discovered a quantity of cash and jewellery had been taken.
The man is described as white, in his 60s, around 6ft 6in tall, with grey hair, of average build. He is reported to have been wearing jeans and a shirt.
Earlier the same day around 2.15pm two men are understood to have gone to two homes in Styles Close in Hampton Magna.
Pretending to be from the water board, the two men entered the homes with one checking the meter while the other carried out an untidy search.
We are currently pursuing several lines of investigation and not ruling out the possibility the incidents may be linked. Officers from the respective Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) will be conducting reassurance patrols in the areas as part of our enquiries.
Speaking following the incidents, Atherstone SNT Sergeant Adam Skelsey and Warwick District SNT Inspector Simon Ryan said: “Understandably, these incidents were concerning for the victims.
"We're investigating them fully and would appeal for those who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the areas 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 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