From West Midlands Police:
TWO men are in police custody following a distraction burglary that took place in West Heath on Monday (23rd April) afternoon.
Police responded to a report of two men who had tricked their way into an elderly residents home on Copredy Road before making off with approximately £250 in cash.
One of the men distracted the elderly victim by taking her into the back garden while the second man made an untidy search of her address.
Upon realising that she had been a victim of a distraction burglary, the victim immediately phoned police who sent a team of officers into the local area.
Within minutes, officers had identified and stopped a van believed to belong to those involved in the offence.
Two suspects, aged 67 and 41, were arrested after matching the description given by the victim. They are currently helping police with their inquiries.
Acting Sergeant Karl Pierpoint, responsible for policing in Longbridge, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking of the elderly victim, we were able to dispatch our officers and locate two suspects within minutes of the offence taking place.
“Bogus officials can be very convincing in appearance but our advice is simple – If in doubt, keep them out.
“Our officers continue to patrol across the neighbourhood and we are working closely with local residents to further reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”
There are some simple steps that you can take to prevent yourself becoming a victim of distraction burglary:
- Bogus callers may try to trick their way into your home by posing as officials from water, gas or electrical companies.
- LOCK – Ensure all windows and doors are locked even when you are at home.
- STOP – Are you expecting a visitor? Have they arranged an appointment at a previous time? Is your back door locked? Some burglars work in pairs with one sneaking in the back while you are at the front door.
- CHAIN – You should have a chain on your door. If you have a visitor, always put the chain across before opening the door.
- CHECK – While the chain is across, check the identity of your caller carefully. You should always ask to see an ID card. If you are still unsure, close your door and ring the phone number of the company involved. Use you phone book or a previous bill to retrieve the number not the ID card given to you by the caller.
- IF IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT! – You can always ask the caller to come back at a later time or to book an appointment. Genuine callers won’t mind and this will give you more time to check out their identity.
- REPORT IT – If you believe the caller to be a bogus official, please report this incident to your local policing team on 101. This may help us prevent further offences from occurring. In case of an emergency you should always dial 999.