Police in Crawley are warning people to beware of men posing as water company workers following a distraction burglary in the town.
A man called on a home in Wakehurst Drive around 3.00pm on Wednesday (January 10th). He said that he was there to check water pressure at the property and offered to show ID, but didn’t actually do so. Once inside, he turned on kitchen taps and left them running, but the householder became suspicious and asked him to turn them off. The man started to walk from the property, but then asked to check the electricity meeting in the utility room, which he did before leaving.
After he had left the owner discovered that cash, jewellery and a credit card had been stolen from a bedroom.
The man is described as white, aged 40-45, about 5′ 9″, of medium build with short brown hair. He was wearing a dirty hi-viz jacket, dark trousers and dark boots and spoke with a Cockney accent.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around that time is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 670 of 10/01.
- Don’t let anyone into your home that you don’t know. Always ask for identification – official visitors won’t mind being asked for ID.
- Fit a door chain, if you have a solid front door, fit a wide angle door viewer.
- If you were not expecting anyone, explain that you need to check they are legitimate and ask them to wait outside for a few minutes. Take a note of their name and the company they claim to be working for and then close and lock the door.
- Look up the phone number for the company in a telephone directory or on the internet and check they have an employee of that name and that they are visiting you on legitimate business. Never just take someone’s word for it and don’t use any phone number they give you to check their identity – you don’t know if it’s a genuine number.
- If someone is asking for a favour, such as to use your toilet, borrow a pen or retrieve a ball, don’t let them in. Instead direct them to a shop, office or public place. It’s only natural to want to help someone, but sadly that’s one of the techniques often used by distraction burglars.
- If you have any concerns about someone who has called at your door, call police immediately. If you have a chance try to note what they look like and any vehicle they have with them, so police can investigate.
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