18 January 2010

Protect yourself from doorstep deception

Crimestoppers has launched a new campaign today targeting distraction burglary (you might also know it as doorstep crime or bogus callers). The typical age of a victim is 81... Oh the cheek of it. The targeting of older people in their own homes is disgusting and so cowardly!

As part of today's campaign launch, a list of the top 10 Most Wanted distraction burglars has been released. Police are looking to locate and speak to all 10 of the Most Wanted about recent distraction burglaries. They come from all around - Derby to Northern Ireland to Avon and Somerset. Check out their photos on the
Crimestoppers Most Wanted website, one of them just might live near you.

Distraction burglary involves someone using a trick or a lie to gain access to a house, before stealing cash and belongings. One of the wanted men went to an elderly lady's house in Hampshire claiming to be from a near-by building site checking people's pipes after a water leak. He and two other men stole £600 from the woman, which she had been saving to buy a new headstone for her parent's grave. These men should be ashamed of themselves. What a horrendous thing to do!

As an older lady, I'm always cautious about who I let into my house. It can be challenging to tell who is legitimate and who isn't. My rule is simple but effective: If I don't know them, I don't let them in. Better safe than sorry I say. You can read distraction burglary crime prevention advice on the
Crimestoppers website to learn more about protecting yourself at home.

If you have any information about distraction burglary, call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Calls are not traced or recorded so no one will ever know you called. You can also pass information to the charity online.

Stay safe and secure

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