Resident praised for foiling distraction burglary
Elderly residents in Witney are being advised to be on their guard after distraction burglars failed in their attempt to enter a property in Witney on Wednesday (26/11).
At 3.15pm a man called at the home of an 87-year-old woman in Wadard’s Meadow claiming he was there to fit some lights. As they spoke, she heard the back door handle being tried. She had left the front door on the chain and at this point she slammed it shut and the man made off.
He is white, in his fifties, 5ft 6-8ins, and was wearing a grey flat cap.
Det Sgt Craig Kirby at Witney police station said: “I am glad to say that this time the burglars got away with nothing and that was down to the woman doing all the right things.
“When a stranger called at her home, she kept her door chain on and at the first sign of something suspicious she made sure he would not be able to get in her home.
“Can I ask all elderly residents – and their relatives, friends and carers – to make sure they know exactly what do in similar circumstances. If you are familiar with the following advice that should help you beat the burglar too.
“Can I also request that anyone in Witney, or anywhere else, who has suspicious people calling at their home to get in touch with us and let us know.”
- Always check the identification of any tradesman or unknown caller at your home – including anyone claiming to be a police officer.
- If they do not have an appointment, do not let them into your house. Tell them to make an appointment. If they say there is an emergency, check with the police.
- If the person is expected, put the chain on and then check ID if you are able to do that. If you do not have a chain, ask for ID to be put through the letterbox. The card will have the company name, the callers/employers name together with their picture. If you are in any doubt about their authenticity they will also have a telephone number which you may call to confirm their identity. If they are a genuine company employee then they will be only too happy to come back later once you have made the call or even make an appointment to return at a later date.
- If you believe someone is a rogue trader or bogus caller please call 999 and alert us immediately.
If you wish to get further advice, please contact our crime reduction advisers via the police enquiry centre on 0854 8 505 505. If you have any information about bogus callers or rogue traders operating in the Oxford area, contact the police on the same number or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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