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Police warning over doorstep con men operating in Wirral
Police are warning householders to be on their guard after two "distraction" burglaries in Wirral.
The first occurred last Thursday at about 2.30pm at a house in Hoylake Road, Moreton; the second around two hours later at an address in South View in Bromborough.
In both incidents, men called at the door and asked the householder if they could come in due to a "local emergency."
The home owners have let them in and were then asked to go to the kitchen to perform some task, such as running taps or filling pans with water.
While the householder was busy with this bogus request, they've heard noises coming from another room and when they investigated have found a man rummaging through their personal items.
In both incidents the householders ordered the con men to get out of their property and alerted the authorities.
Although uninjured, the female vicitms have been left very shaken following their ordeals.
Detective Inspector Mark Tivendale said: "This type of crime is despicable.
"Victims of distraction burglary can suffer terribly both emotionally and physically and it can seriously affect their trust and faith in people afterwards.
"It is vital people remember to check the identity of any stranger who calls at their home, genuine callers will not mind waiting.
"Help and support is available from the police, local authorities, and utility companies so please make sure you use it.
"I would also ask that people keep an eye on who is visiting, or knocking of the doors, of their elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
"Most importantly, if in doubt keep them out"
The crimes are being investigated separately but officers say they've not ruled out that they may be linked. Three men were involved in the first and only two in the second incident.
Detectives are urging anyone who has any information to contact them on 0151 777 2265 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
BOGUS CALLER ADVICE:
Police say that many people who call at the door are genuine but some are not.
Therefore it is vital to take precautions when you answer the door:
Always make sure visitors to your home are who they say they are by asking to see their identification.
Do not let people into your property that you do not know.
These type of people may pretend to be an official or may just ask for a drink of water or if they can use the toilet. Remember ‘if in doubt, keep them out’.
Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door.
The best defence against a bogus caller is to have a viewer or spy hole and a stout door chain fitted to your door.
If the caller claims to be from the electricity, gas or water company, ask them to quote your customer reference number.
A genuine caller from these utility companies will be able to quote these numbers If you're not sure who is at your door, don't open it.
Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are purporting to be from.
Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller, as they may be bogus.
Many utility companies such as gas, electricity and water, provide password schemes for customers, sign up to these.
When unannounced callers claiming to be from these services call at your door they should know the password if they are genuine.
Ensure that if you do let somebody in to your home, you close the door behind them - distraction burglars often work in teams, where one will distract you while others sneak in through the insecure door.
If somebody asks for your help - needs to make a telephone call, lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or pen and paper - refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door or call a friend or neighbour to come and help.