in hunt for distraction burglars
Police appeal after would-be distraction burglars target homes
in Holmes Chapel and Alderley Edge.
Police are investigating after would-be distraction burglars
targeted addresses in Holmes Chapel and Alderley Edge on
Tuesday 12 June 2012.
Men purporting to be 'water board' officials
called at homes on Capesthorne Road, Holmes Chapel, at around
12.15pm. They asked for access to the house to check the water
supply. Their demands were challenged by the homeowner and the
men, who were dressed casually and spoke with Irish accents, could
not provide identification and left the area on foot.
At around 6pm, an elderly homeowner on Stamford Road in Alderley
Edge was visited by a man purporting to be a representative from
the 'Water Board'. He entered the house and distracted the elderly
lady whilst his accomplice searched through the property looking
Police are establishing whether the two incidents
In light of these recent incidents, Cheshire Police
are urging local communities to offer support and crime prevention
advice to elderly family members, neighbours and friends.
Mark Gammage of Congleton Neighbourhood Policing Team offers
advice below to friends and relatives of elderly victims who
may find themselves targeted by callous thieves and distraction-type
Police are keen to speak to anyone in the Holmes Chapel and Alderley
Edge areas who who may have seen any people or vehicles behaving
suspiciously, to contact Cheshire Police on
Alternatively, information can be given anonymously
to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
in Cheshire Offer Distraction Burglary Warning
Police in Cheshire are reminding those with elderly
relatives, friends or neighbours to be extra vigilant against distraction
Relatives of elderly victims often speak about the trauma and
distress that crimes such as this can have upon elderly or vulnerable
members of our communities. Recent Home Office figures show that
there are fewer victims of burglary than ever in Cheshire, however
police are keen to build on this and reiterate safety messages
to those who may be vulnerable to ‘bogus officials'.
cannot stress enough the importance of keeping any elderly relatives,
friends or neighbours well informed and well aware of the tactics
used by ‘distraction' burglars who con their way into the homes
of unwitting victims by posing as utility company officials,
tradespeople, or even thieves who pretend to look for a lost pet.
These con-artists can appear to be genuine, some even produce
fake identification, dress in a uniform, or disguise their getaway
vehicle as a commercial van to make their guise appear genuine
and deceive the victim into allowing them access to their home.
Once inside, they will steal cash or valuables. We find that this
can be particularly distressing for elderly people who may be robbed
of sentimental jewellery or family heirlooms.”
The implications for the victim can be even further reaching,
often the victims can become ill as a result of the trauma induced
by the crime, and many are robbed of large amounts of cash which
is not covered by insurance premiums. They can become fearful of
living in their own home, and experience a drop in confidence.
The message from Cheshire Police is simple – do not allow anyone
into your home without verifying their true identity. Any legitimate
official or tradesperson would be happy for you to check their
identity with a utility company. Similarly, never accept offers
of handiwork or DIY from door to door callers or tradespeople.
If you have elderly relatives, neighbours, or provide care for
anyone who may fall prey to this type of crime, make them aware
of these messages. Police are always keen to hear from anyone who
may have been approached at their home by a caller purporting to
be from a legitimate company, or by anyone using an excuse to enter
Police are offering a quick reminder of some of the things you
can do to improve the security around your home.
- Stop – Are you expecting anyone? Do they have an appointment?
Make sure the back door is locked. Some thieves work in pairs
with the other one sneaking in the back door whilst you're at
the front door.
- Lock – Keep all of your doors and windows locked, even when
you're at home.
- Look – Out of the window or spy hole to see who is calling.
- Chain – Put the door bar or chain on before you open the door.
- Check the identity carefully – Ask for an ID card. Close the
door and check using phone number from the phone book
or relevant bill, not the one on the card.
- Bogus callers often work in pairs; be aware of one person
distracting you while the other steals your property.
- Never employ trades people who call at
your door – only use
people recommended by someone you trust. Ideally get a couple of
quotes from reputable companies.
- Passwords - water, gas and electric companies operate a
‘password' facility. Contact your local branch for
- If in doubt keep them out particularly if you're on
your own. Ask them to make an appointment or come back
later when someone else can be present in the house.
Genuine callers won't mind. If you're suspicious then
report the incident to the police.
- You may help prevent them from burgling someone else.
The below advice can be offered to help a neighbour or
- Have a chat to them about being careful about any
visitors they let into their house.
- Offer to give them your telephone number then they can
call you if they need any assistance or are unsure
about who is at their front door.
- Remind them to put on the door chain and look who the
visitor is either out of a window or out of the spy hole
in the door.
- Remind them that if they have any unexpected callers they
should check their ID.
- Tell them if they have any suspicions about a caller
then they should call the police. This could prevent
someone else from falling victim to a bogus caller.
Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Team 0845 458 6371
Police non-emergency number: 101
Other Homewatch pages of current relevance: Local
crimes in the Macclesfield Division including Bollington,
Kerridge and Pott Shrigley.
If you haven't looked at the homewatch pages before we recommend
looking at the homewatch home page.