CCTV appeal after attempted distraction burglaries in Derby
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We are issuing images of two people we’d like to trace in connection with two incidents where elderly residents in the Littleover and Sunnyhill areas have had suspicious callers.
The incidents happened overnight between Saturday 12 December and Sunday 13 December.
A man and a woman are reported to have knocked on the door of a woman aged in her 80s on Littleover Crescent between 11.15pm and 11.30pm.
At around midnight, a woman aged in her 70s also had callers at her property on St Stephens Close, Sunnyhill.
In both incidents they had said they needed to get into their homes due to a gas leak but were unsuccessful.
Although the CCTV is not of the best quality, we hope someone may recognise something from the images, and particularly the woolly hat worn by one of the individuals.
We also want to further remind people to be extra careful and alert to unexpected doorstep visitors.
Sergeant Mark Parry of the Littleover and Blagreaves Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Both residents were understandably distressed and alarmed to receive these calls, especially during the night, but fortunately they were both careful and followed our important advice around dealing with unexpected callers.
“If you do get a knock at the door and you are not sure who it is, the best thing is to not open it. Ask them to call back at another time or for a trusted neighbour to come around and check their identity. Have a door chain or bar fitted and if you absolutely must open the door, always make sure you use it and be certain other windows and doors are locked and shut first.”
The following tips can help you to protect yourself from doorstep crime:
- Do not open your door if you are unsure. Ask to see a callers identification and verify it independently. Never let people into your property if you don't know them
- Always keep a chain or bar on the door whilst talking to callers. Genuine callers won't mind you doing this or checking their ID. If callers haven't got valid identification, don't let them in
- Bogus callers often pretend to be someone official, for example, from a utility company or the water board. They will also try to distract people by asking for a drink of water or if they can use the toilet. If in doubt, keep them out.
- Remember to close and lock the back door before you answer the front door
- Have and use a viewer or spy hole to all the external doors to the property
- Don't keep large quantities of cash at home. It's better in the bank where it's safe
- If someone asks for your help (for example, if they want to make a telephone call or claim to have lost a ball in your garden) always ask a friend or neighbour, or someone else you trust, for help.
Team Sgt. Parry added: “Enquiries are ongoing to try and identify these individuals, and we are carrying out reassurance patrols in the community. If you have any information which could help us, please get in touch.”
If you think you can help please contact us on any of the methods below, quoting reference 20*657084.
- Facebook– send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
- Twitter– direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
- Website– complete the online contact form derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
- Phone – call us on 101.
You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.