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‘Distraction burglaries’ in the Frome area

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for information on two distraction burglaries that occurred last month in the Frome area.

The first incident happened in Holcombe near Radstock on Thursday 4th June. A male came to the door of an elderly female and asked for £1400 for work she had not had done. On this occasion the lady refused.

The second incident occurred on Tuesday 9th June in the Fairview area. An elderly male aged 85 and his wife, 82, were asked for £300 to fix a broken roof tile.  The suspect made off after taking the money in cash without completing any work.

The suspect in both incidents is described as a white male, age 40, 5ft’10” with a slim build. If you have any information please contact the police  through the website or by calling 101, quoting reference 61318/15 or 58653/15.

Not sure? Don’t open the door!

The following advice from Avon and Somerset Police will help you to identify a bogus caller at your door and can help you take the right steps to ensure you and your property stay safe:

Distraction burglars target vulnerable, often elderly people in their homes. Sometimes they pose as officials from utility companies or other organisations. These criminals can be men, women or even children. Their appearance can be smart, casual or they may even wear tabards and have fake identification

Bogus ‘workmen’ may say that they need to come in to make urgent repairs. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make building repairs or tarmac your drive. Often they’ll ask for money in advance; they may even offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money to pay them.

What can you do? If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it or let anyone into your home.

Always put the chain on before you open the door.

Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they claim to be from. Use the numbers listed in the phone book or on a bill. Don’t use any phone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.

Genuine callers won’t mind making an appointment for a date when you can have someone with you. This gives you time to check their identity too. Remember, if the caller refuses to give details or does not show what you believe is a genuine ID card, do not let them in and call the police straight away on 999.

Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the visitor.

Many service providers provide password schemes and it can be helpful to sign up to these. When unannounced callers knock at your door they should know the password if they’re genuine.

Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.

Remember: it’s your doorstep, your decision.