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Warning after distraction burglar targets 94 year old Basingstoke resident

Alert message sent 04/10/2019 15:25:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

We are asking residents to be on their guard – and to look out for vulnerable neighbours or relatives – after a distraction burglary at a property in Basingstoke.

A distraction burglary is where someone comes into your home under false pretences, often they pretend to be figures of authority or working on behalf of utility services such as the gas, electricity or water board etc.

The incident occurred between 9pm and 10pm on Wednesday, October 2, in Morley Road.

The suspect talked his way into the home of a 94 year old man after knocking on the front window, then flashing a badge, causing the victim to believe he may be a police officer.

Once inside, the suspect went upstairs and began searching through rooms. He left when the resident said he was going to call the police. Once he had gone, the resident realised three wallets containing cash, cards and an expired driving licence, had been stolen.

One of the wallets also contained a treasured photograph of the resident’s recently deceased partner, which was deeply distressing for him.

The man is described as being white, 40-50 years old, well built and wearing a black winter-type coat.

Did you see anything suspicious or did you have someone matching this description knocking on your door? We are very keen to hear from anyone who might have CCTV or dash cam footage, or who may find the discarded wallets. Two were of brown leather and the third was black leather.

Here’s some advice to follow:

Always be on your guard when anyone you’re not expecting - a man, woman or even a child - turns up at your door. An honest face or good story can hide a trick to get into your home.

• LOCK - Keep your front and back doors locked even when you are at home.
• STOP - Before you answer, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone. Check you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a spy hole or window to see who the caller is.
• CHAIN - If you decide to open the door, put the chain or door bar on first, if you have one.
• CHECK - Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation name or logo. Even if the caller has a pre-arranged appointment with you, check their identification card carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, call the company concerned to verify their representative’s identity. Don’t call the number on the card they give you, look it up independently.
If you think a bogus caller has been to your home, call the police immediately on 999.

If you have any information about this crime, please call 101, quoting reference 44190352495.
Message sent by
Nicola Holt (Police, Corporate Communications Officer, Hampshire)

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