Warning after woman, 94, falls victim to distraction burglars

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Officers are reminding homeowners to be vigilant and to check their security after a 94-year-old Bilborough woman fell victim to distraction burglars.

The woman, who lives in the Bilborough Road area, answered her back door to two men. She spoke to them briefly, told them she wasn’t interested and shut the door but while she was speaking to them another man had entered her house through her front door which had been left insecure.

She later discovered her handbag was missing from her living room. Inside her handbag was her purse which contained a quantity of cash, a pension book and card, make-up, a diary and various papers.

The burglary happened between 9am and 10am yesterday (Wednesday 27 February 2019).

The offenders who called at her home are white, aged 20-30 and had dark hair.

Officers investigating the burglary are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who has any information to get in contact as soon as possible by calling 101 and quoting incident number 259 of 27 February 2019. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We’re also reminding residents to be on their guard if someone they’re not expecting knocks on their door and to make sure their doors and windows are kept locked at all times.

Distraction burglars often prey on our most vulnerable residents, tricking their way into homes by making up stories, by pretending to work for an official company or asking for help to try to gain entry.

Don’t allow anyone without valid identification access to your home and, if you’re unsure, don’t let them in.

Keep the chain on the door while talking to them and check with the company that the person is purporting to be from.

Our advice is always to say no to cold-callers and to report any suspicious activity to police immediately on 101 or, in an emergency, call 999.

Some simple crime prevention tips for your home include:

  • Make sure that all doors and windows are locked at all times.
  • Don’t open your door unless you know who it is – use a door spy hole or door chain.
  • Keep desirable items out of view to passers-by. Valuables should not be visible from windows and doors in your home.
  • Ensure your keys are kept in a safe place out of sight and well away from your letterbox.
  • Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed.
  • If you’re out all day use a timer switch to operate the lights to make it look like someone is at home. Change the times that the lights come on to simulate an occupied home. Drawing the curtains or closing blinds, preventing people from looking into your home, can also help make a difference.
  • Make sure your front door is well lit. Use dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark.
  • Visible burglar alarms and carefully directed security lighting can deter burglars. Make sure alarms stop sounding after 20 minutes and lights don’t disturb your neighbours.
  • Consider buying a safe for personal papers, passports and small items of jewellery. This must be secured to the floor or a wall.
  • Never leave garages or sheds unlocked, especially if they connect to your property.
  • If you see somebody acting suspiciously report it to the police immediately by calling 101 or, in an emergency, call 999.

For more information on how to protect your home visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/document/advice-home

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