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Distraction burglar

Alert message sent 31/12/2020 13:55:00

Information sent on behalf of Notts Police

Police are seeking the public's help and urging residents to remain vigilant following a number of distraction thefts in the Radford, Lenton and Basford areas.
Officers are currently investigating four reported incidents which happened between Sunday (27 December) and yesterday (30 December).
In all instances a man knocked on the door and has asked to borrow money, mainly saying it is for electric or gas.
The man is described as white, aged in his 40s to 50s, and about 5ft 4ins tall. He is of thin build, has dark hair and is smartly dressed.
The offences were committed in the Garfield Road area in Radford, Castle Gardens and Hoyland Avenue areas in Lenton and Pearson Street area in Basford.
Detective Sergeant Simon Carter, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Some of the victims who have been targeted have been elderly and vulnerable. No threats were made towards them but these incidents have caused great distress.
"We're working hard to identify and trace the culprit and I'm urging anyone who recognises the man from the description, anyone who saw any suspicious activity in these areas or anyone else who may have information which could help our investigation to please get in contact with us.
“If you have any information, no matter how small, call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 614 of 30 December 2020, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
DS Carter added: “It’s very easy for anyone to fall victim to distraction thefts/burglaries because they prey on people who may be off guard or confused, and then use the element of surprise to their advantage.
“They can be very deceptive and convincing and will also prey on a person’s goodwill and trusting nature.
“If you see somebody acting suspiciously report it to the police immediately by calling 101 or, in an emergency, call 999.
“Don’t let anyone in your home without valid identification, keep the chain on the door while talking to them and check with the company that the person is purporting to be from. Don't open your door unless you know who it is - use a door spy hole or door chain. 
DS Carter continued: “Tackling and reducing burglary/distraction offences remains a priority for the force, including the effective use of its dedicated burglary teams, along with the divisional CID teams, but we need the public to help us by following our crime prevention advice.
“It is also incredibly important that people share advice with their potentially vulnerable relatives, neighbours or friends.
“With more people feeling isolated and alone during the Covid-19 pandemic, distraction burglars may see this as an opportunity to target people.
“If you know someone who could benefit from our advice, who is not on social media, please call them and make them aware.”
In order to establish whether or not someone calling at your home is genuine you can follow these simple steps:
•  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, consider fitting a Secure Ring instead.
•  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.
Message sent by
Andrew Hallsworth (Police, SGT 3043, Canning Circus)

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