Police are reminding people to remain vigilant to distraction burglars over the Christmas period after seeing a woman charged for two offences.
The 37 year-old woman from Bloxwich was charged with two counts of burglary and appeared at Walsall Magistrates Court this morning.
This is in connection with two distraction burglaries which happened in October this year in the Bloxwich area.
Officers are reminding people about the simple steps that can be taken to prevent distraction burglaries and ensure that everybody has a safe and happy Christmas and New Year:
• Check to see who is calling at your door 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. (If you don’t have a chain it’s a good idea to get one – they are generally inexpensive)
• Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation’s name or symbol.
• 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.
• Some public utility services (e.g. water, electricity, gas) operate a password system. Contact your local service provider to find out more.
• If you’re still not sure, ask the caller to come back later. You can then check their story by phoning the organisation or company they claim to represent. Look up the number in your own telephone directory. Don’t rely on the telephone number on their card – it may be the number of a crook’s partner.
• 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.
• Ensure your back door is locked if you are answering the door to someone you don’t know.
• Watch out for anyone who says they’re in a hurry. Don’t let them pressure you. If in doubt, call a neighbour or friend.
• If you have any suspicions at all, don’t let them in.
• Offenders often claim to be working for the Water Board or make similar claims regarding problems with a water supply. Remember, there is no such organisation as the Water Board any longer, and legitimate workers would have clear identification from one of the water suppliers for the region; such as Severn Trent or South Staffs Water.
• If you’re still not happy, phone the police – dial 999 – and tell them what’s happened, and tell your neighbours.
Anybody who has any information about burglars in their area should call West Midlands Police on the non-emergency number 101.