Police in Peterborough have issued a warning about the different tactics being used by distraction burglars after residents had money stolen.
“Rogue traders - don’t let them get a foot in your door,” is the key message being given out by Amanda Large, crime prevention officer in Peterborough.
She added: “This warning comes after a number of recent complaints about doorstep callers and rogue traders in Peterborough.
“Incidents have included people selling household items door-to-door or using hard luck stories or intimidation to get a sale.
“Often the items are overpriced and could be easily obtained elsewhere. This is a licensed activity and anyone doing this must have a licence (Pedlar’s Certificate) and produce it to you. If the sales person cannot provide a licence to you, call 101 to report these persons to the police.”
One recent incident happened in Gordon Avenue, Woodston, on Monday, March 11 (incident 35/17160/19).
Two men offered to undertake gardening work. They distracted the victim by asking for a drink of water and to use the toilet.
Once inside the offenders have stolen a purse/wallet containing cash.
Another incident was in Primrose Close, Dogsthorpe, two days later (incident 35/17994/19).
Two men attended the address offering gardening work. The victim declined and did not allow them entry.
However, one of the men put his arm and foot in the door to stop it from being closed. One of the offenders then asked to use the toilet and was allowed in. While inside the house money has been stolen.
The following ‘Top Tips’ are being given by police:
. Don’t believe all callers are genuine.
. Don’t believe the ‘scare stories’ a salesman may tell you - they are rarely true.
. Don’t believe genuine tarmac companies have loads over - they don’t!
. Don’t sign anything or pay for anything until you are sure about it.
. Don’t believe special deals. ‘Today only’ - it’s high pressure selling.
. Don’t allow strangers to have access to your property - “I need to check your taps/water pipe” is a common trick that can lead to a distraction burglary.
. Do check the identity of the caller by asking to see an ID card.
. Do challenge anyone looking over your property - did you give permission?
. Do consider if you really need the work done. Think before you decide. Shop around for the best deal.
. Do ask the caller to leave you with information to study at your leisure.
. Do remember you should be given a right to cancel a contract after cold calling.
Victims of distraction burglaries should contact the police immediately.
More advice can be found at: https://www.cambs.police.uk/A-Z/Doorstep-selling.