From West Midlands Police:
POLICE in Kings Norton are appealing for information following a burglary where a man posed as a police officer.
The incident happened on Monyhull Hall Road at just after 9pm on Saturday 30 June.
The thief showed a fake identity card to the 78-year-old victim before pushing his way into her house.
Once inside, he searched a room and stole two purses which contained an amount of cash.
Detectives have described the man as white, in his thirties and around 5ft 8” tall. It is believed he may have a receding hair line and was wearing a green jacket.
Detective Constable Stephanie Warren, from the serious aquisitive crime team, said: “Distraction burglars prey on the most vulnerable, often the elderly. We would advise anyone that if a person visits your address purporting to be a police officer then please ensure you call us to verify their identity.
“We are appealing for anyone who may have been in the vicinity at the time of the incident and may remember seeing a man matching the description to come forward. You can contact me by dialling 101 or alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.”
Police have also released some helpful crime prevention advice:
• Check to see who it is by using the spy hole if you have one, or look through a front window.
• Always put the chain on before you open the door. Door chains are available from most DIY stores and High Street outlets for as little as £2.
• If you don’t know the caller, ask to see their identity card. Check it carefully, and keep the chain on while you do this. Genuine callers won’t mind if you close the door while you check. If in doubt, telephone the organisation to verify they are genuine by using a number from the telephone directory and not a number given to you by the caller.
• Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs. Beware of one distracting you while the other steals your property. The best practice is not to let them in.
• Always make sure any rear or side access doors are locked before opening the front door.
• Utility companies operate password schemes whereby, if you register a password with them, any caller purporting to be from that company will give you that password if they need to enter your property, otherwise don’t let them in. For more information contact your service provider.
• If in doubt, keep them out. Phone the police if you are worried on 101 and in an emergency dial 999