Appeal for information following distraction burglary in Warrington
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Detectives are appealing for information from the public following a distraction burglary in Warrington.
At around 3.30pm on Wednesday 8 February a man called at a house in Cliftonville Road, Woolston.
He told the elderly occupier that the gutters needed cleaning and offered to do the work for £100.
The pensioner agreed, and after he had followed her into the house she paid him the £100 as a second man went round the back of the property with a ladder.
A short time later the first man knocked back on the front door claiming that the occupier had only given him £80.
He followed her back into the house as the occupier got him a further £20.
After being given the money, the two men left the address without cleaning the gutters.
The police were subsequently called, and when telling officers what had happened the occupier discovered that a more substantial quantity of money had been taken from the house.
Detective Constable Vicky Hancox, of Warrington Proactive CID, said: “The distraction burglary has left the homeowner extremely shaken up and upset – and understandably so.
“Your home is the place you should be able to feel most safe. Being the victim of a burglary is always a deeply upsetting experience, but it is particularly traumatic when it occurs when you are at home.
“In this instance, we believe that the man who knocked on the victim’s door offering to clean the gutters stole a quantity of cash whilst he was inside the house.
“He is described as a white man who looked to be in his 40s.
“He and the man he was with, another white man who spoke with an Irish accent, then left the address without carrying out the agreed work.
“It is believed that they were travelling in a white van.
“Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing.
“As part of our enquiries, I urge anyone who believes that they man have any information or CCTV, doorbell or dashcam footage regarding the incident, the two men or the white van to get in touch.”
Anyone with information or footage that may help with the investigation is urged to call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 1474656.
Residents are advised to be wary of anyone who calls at your home unexpectedly and to never let strangers inside.
DC Hancox said: “I want to take this opportunity to urge residents to be vigilant and to call the police on 101 if you become suspicious of anyone who comes to your door offering to carry out work.
“I also ask residents to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours by checking on their welfare and reporting any suspicious activity to the police.”
Cheshire Constabulary’s advice on how to avoid falling victim to such crimes is:
Ask a neighbour or friend nearby to check out a doorstep caller before you open the door to them or agree to have any work done
Always check the identity of doorstep callers by asking for identification, and telephone any company they claiming to be from – use the company’s listed telephone number (never use a number a doorstep caller gives you)
Check whether traders are members of the Local Authority Assured Trader Scheme or the Government’s TrustMark scheme
If you have any doubts about a caller being genuine, do not let them in and ask them to come back later when you are not alone
If you feel that improvement or maintenance work needs carrying out at your property, discuss this with a relative or a friend who can help you find a reputable trader
Do not agree to any work on the spot, or sign anything – do not let anyone pressure you into having work done
It is always wise to get quotes from a number of traders before agreeing to have work done, to ensure that you are not overcharged
If someone comes into your home, ensure that you close the door behind them − distraction burglars often work in teams and while you are distracted another person may sneak in through an open door – and stay with them at all times while they you are in your property so that you can see what they are doing
Do not pay cash up front and never go to the bank or to a cashpoint with a doorstep caller.