Police appeal after three homes targeted in distraction burglaries

Police are looking to speak to these three men. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Police are looking to speak to these three men. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Credit: Archant

Police are urging people to be alert after distraction burglaries took place at three houses yesterday (Monday) afternoon.

Between 2.30pm and 4.40pm thieves tricked their way into homes in Donstan Road, in Highbridge, and Stoddens Road and Berrow Road in Burnham-on-Sea and searched for cash and valuables.

All three homeowners affected were in their 80s.

Sergeant Ryan Edwards said: “Thankfully nothing seems to have been stolen in two cases, with a building society book taken in the third.

“This sort of doorstep crime remains rare but it can be very distressing for vulnerable older people and we’re targeting our patrols in the area to provide reassurance.

“Please make your family or friends aware of these incidents and the simple steps to take to deter these criminals.

If you see someone acting suspiciously at a neighbour’s property call us straight away, ring 999 if a crime is being committed or otherwise call 101.”

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“As part of our ongoing investigation we’re especially keen to trace three men.”

Anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101 and quote reference 5218197748.

There are two main tactics used by distraction burglars:

• Distracting a householder on the doorstep or in the garden, while an accomplice enters the house to steal.

• Claiming to be from a utility company needing to urgently check water supply or electrics to get into a house.

Sgt Edwards’ doorstep crime prevention tips include:

• Never open the door to an unexpected caller until you have checked their identification, use a door chain or viewer. Genuine callers expect it.

• If you are not sure, do not open the door.

• If you are suspicious of a caller tell police straight away, ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101.

• Keep your cash in the bank, not at home.

• Keep windows and doors secured if you are not in the room.

• If you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away.

• Join neighbourhood watch.

• Nominate a neighbour to help you deal with unexpected callers - http://bit.ly/2FHDIfN

For more information, visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk