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Warning After Elderly Targeted By Bogus Water Workers In Kidderminster

Police are warning residents to be on their guard after two incidents in Kidderminster in which pensioners were targeted by offenders posing as ‘water board' officials.

Both incidents happened on Friday, 13 April, between 5pm and 6pm, and officers are investigating whether they are linked.

A man called at the home of a woman in her 90s, in Poplar Road, just after 5pm, but the door was answered by one of the elderly woman's relatives. He mentioned they needed to turn the water pressure down as he was working on houses nearby but he was turned away.

The man is white and has an Irish accent. He is described as being in his late 20s, stocky and around 5ft 8ins in height. He had dark hair and was wearing a white shirt, pale blue sweater and grey trousers.

In the second incident a man knocked the door of a woman in her 80s, in Windsor Drive, at about 6pm. He said he needed to come in to check the water pressure but she refused to let him in. He then walked away in the direction of Broad Street.

This man is also white and has an Irish accent. He is described as being between 30 and 40 years old, around 5ft 10ins to 6ft tall, with short dark hair and was wearing dark clothes.

PC Adrian Bartlett said: "Distraction burglars often target the elderly and other vulnerable people who need to be reminded never to let strangers inside their home whatever the reason they give.

"Unless it's a pre-arranged appointment and the utility worker has an ID card that can be verified they should not get past the front door. Tell them to go away and that you are calling the police.  Remember the slogan - ‘If in doubt, keep them out'."

Witnesses or anyone with information about these offences should call police at Kidderminster on 0300 333 3000, quoting incident reference 508-S-130412, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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

Spy holes and 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 contact the police.

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/

 

Issued: Monday, 16 April, 2012


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