Fri 13 December 2019

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Warning after spate of distraction burglaries

Alert message sent 04/07/2019 18:12:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police


We are issuing advice to residents following a spate of distraction burglaries targeting the elderly.

A number of similar incidents have been reported across Luton, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard.

The offenders offer gardening work, but have gone on to steal items from the property and transferred thousands of pounds of extra money from their victims’ account.

The offenders are all described as white. One is around 6’2”, with very short hair, a receding hair line and a pointed nose.

The second is around 5’5”, between 40 and 50-years-old, of stocky build, with limp, brown hair, wearing a pale grey and blue t-shirt and shorts. 

The third is described as in his 20s, with blonde fair hair, wearing a black sweatshirt and jogging bottoms and possibly had tattoos on arms.

The fourth is in his 30s, wearing a red cap and a fisherman’s waterproof type jacket, with thick yellow gloves.

The fifth is 5’5”, of medium build, with short hair, a light moustache and a brown jacket down to his knees.

The final description is of a man around six foot, of slim build, with tattoos on his arms, wearing a black short sleeved shirt, with long face and quietly spoken.

Detective Sergeant Gemma Pugh, investigating, said: “We are doing all we can to catch the offenders involved as these are particularly nasty incidents targeting vulnerable individuals.

“Some of these cases have involved getting victims to hand over large sums of money which is way over what the work is worth, distracting the victim before stealing property, or in one case distracting a victim from his computer and transferring money. We ask anyone with any information about the offenders to come forward. You can report anonymously via Crimestoppers.  

“We also want to use this opportunity to remind people across the whole of Bedfordshire to be vigilant against bogus callers and to warn any elderly friends, family or neighbours to be on the look-out.

“Please only use trusted and verified companies to carry out work on your home. A genuine caller won’t mind coming back at a time when it is more convenient for you and when you can arrange to have somebody you trust with you for the appointment.

“If they’re doing work in the neighbourhood, if they’re genuine they will return for an appointment.  If you’re making a bank transfer, ensure you log out afterwards and no one can see you enter you log-in details.

“Finally if you are not expecting anyone to visit you for a product or service, do not let them into your home. If you're unsure, don't open the door.”

Read more advice at: www.bedfordshire.police.uk/A-Z/Bogus-callers

Anyone with information about the offenders in these cases is asked to call DS Pugh on 101 or visit www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
 
Message sent by
Jon Vale (Police, Communications Officer, County)

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