From West Mercia Police:

Police are reiterating warnings to elderly people to be vigilant after a further distraction burglary in North Worcestershire.

The latest incident, which happened between 4.45pm and 5.10pm yesterday, Thursday 24 November, in Rubery, follows one the previous evening, Wednesday 23 November, in Catshill, Bromsgrove.

The Rubery incident, which happened in New Inns Lane, involved a man knocking at the door of an elderly couple and claiming he needed to check the water.

He claimed to have been working down the road when he had hit the mains pipe causing contamination to the water.

The man was allowed into the property. However one of the occupants became suspicious and asked him to leave. Nothing was taken.

The man is described as white, aged 30 to 40, 5ft 5ins tall, of broad build, with a beer belly, and a round fat face. He was scruffy, and wearing a dark coloured baseball cap and a long grey round-neck sweater.

In Wednesday’s incident, which happened at around 7pm, a man called at a house in Barley Mow Lane, Catshill, and said he needed to switch the water off. The elderly victim was persuaded to allow him into the kitchen and then discovered another man in the bathroom. Nothing was stolen.

Both men were white. The first one was in his 50s, wearing a cap and navy blue anorak, and had an Irish accent. The second man was also in his 50s, of fat build, and was wearing dark clothing.

Detective Sergeant Ed Slough of West Mercia Police said: “The two incidents are being linked with several other offences in Birmingham, and we are working closely with our colleagues from West Midlands Police.

“Thankfully nothing was stolen in either of the North Worcestershire incidents but it is concerning that householders are still letting strangers into their homes.

“We want to reassure people that while the number of distraction burglaries in North Worcestershire remains low compared with that in other parts of the UK, there are steps they can take to avoid falling victim to such offences.”

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact officers on 0300 333 3000 quoting incident 230-N-241111 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

West Mercia’s ‘Knock Knock’ campaign aims to raise awareness about the security measures people should take before they let any strangers into their home.

Residents, especially older and vulnerable people, are reminded to be vigilant, especially when they are not expecting a caller and answer the door to someone they do not know.

Door chains should be used while a caller’s identification is established and any ID badges carefully checked. If householders have any doubts about a caller’s identity, they should not let them in.

Neighbours can help by keeping an eye on people calling in the area or acting suspiciously, including noting any registration numbers of vehicles.

Anything suspicious should be reported to police immediately, preferably while the people are still in the area.

For further information about preventing distraction burglaries and the Knock Knock campaign, please visit the force website at http://www.westmercia.police.uk/

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