A BOGUS official burglar struck three times in Huddersfield on just one evening this week – just make sure the same doesn’t happen to you.
The thief stole cash after tricking his way into the homes of elderly people in Paddock, Newsome and Oakes on Tuesday night.
He is aged about 40 and small with short grey hair and wore a white jacket and dark jeans.
The intruder reckoned to work for the “Water Board” – a classic con when these thieves target the older generation.
They often ask the victim to go upstairs and turn taps on while they remain downstairs – or visa versa.
Sometimes they will claim they have put dye in the water system further up the road and reckon they ware waiting for it to show up in the water.
At other times they reckon the water supply has been cut off nearby and they are checking to see if it is still flowing.
They then search through cupboards, wardrobes and under beds looking for cash and jewellery while the victim is elsewhere in the home.
Once they have found what they want they’ll make up some excuse and leave, stealing valuables – and sometimes the victim’s peace of mind.
There are simple ways to try to stop these despicable crimes.
In short, don’t be afraid to be rude to people who cold-call at your door. Genuine callers will properly explain who they are and have proper photographic identification.
Before you open the door check to see who it is by looking through your front window or by using a door viewer if you have one.
Only open the door when you have put the chain on.
Get a good look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform showing their company or organisation logo.
Suggest the caller should come back later. You can then check their story by telephoning the organisation or company they claim to represent or arrange for a neighbour or relative to be with you when they call again.
Check any phone number they give you in your own telephone directory. Do not rely on the number on their card – it may be the number of their partner in crime.
Always lock the back door before opening the front or vice-versa. Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs, one caller could be distracting you at the front while the other sneaks in at the back.
Bogus callers come in all shapes and sizes, including children.
If you do not have a door chain or viewer, consider having one fitted, they cost very little.
Let the police and your neighbours know if you have had a suspicious caller at the door.
Locks and chains are only a deterrent if they are used – so use them.
Always remember – if in doubt keep them out.