Posted: Thu 30th Jun 2016

Advice And Appeal For Information Following Distraction Incidents Across Force

This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 30th, 2016

We’re appealing for information and asking residents to be extra vigilant following a number of distraction incidents across the force area over the last few weeks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

On 16th June a man called at the house of a 69 year old woman on Heol Barri, Caerphilly. He made an excuse to enter the property saying that he wanted to check damage to the occupant’s greenhouse which he said was caused by his sister who was playing with a catapult. The occupant didn’t own a greenhouse and became suspicious and asked the man to leave. Nothing was stolen. (log 549 16/06/16) ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The same day a man approached a woman who was in her front garden on Wingfield Crescent, Llandbradach saying that he needed to check damage caused to one of her rear windows caused by his daughter. He followed her into her home to check the windows. After the man left the occupant discovered that a quantity of cash was missing from the address. (log 187 16/06/16) ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

On 23rd June a man called at the address of an 84 year old woman on Heol Isaf, Nelson. Again, the man claimed damage had been caused to one of the occupant’s windows by his sister playing with a catapult. There was no damage caused to her windows and he was not granted access. (log 540 23/06/16) ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The same day a man called at the address of a 95 year old woman on Newport Road, Magor, again claiming that his sister had caused damage to one of her rear windows. The man entered her home to check the back of the property while a second man followed. After they left it was noticed that a number of items of jewellery were stolen. One of the men is described as being in his late teens/ early twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall, of slim/ medium build, with dark blonde hair and a local accent. (log 430 23/06/16) ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

At approximately 12pm on 24th June a man called at the address of an 89 year old woman on Tydfil Road, Bedwas. He claimed that he thought something had gone through one of her back windows and he wanted to show her. He entered her home and after he left she noticed that a case of jewellery and cash was missing. (log 222 24/06/16) ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The same day, at approximately 1.10pm, a man called at the address of a 77 year old woman on Gladstone Street, Abertillery. Again the excuse was given that damage had been caused to a rear window by his sister. He was granted access and followed her through the house to look at the ‘damage’ whilst another man entered the property. The two men were disturbed by a neighbour and made off with a safe. (log 259 24/06/16) ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

DS Michelle Chaplin said; “These are despicable crimes that prey on the elderly and vulnerable. An investigation into all these incidents is currently ongoing, but in the meantime I would ask residents to be extra vigilant and keep an eye out for their neighbours. If someone calls at your home who you think is suspicious, please report it to police immediately. Do not grant access to your home if you are unsure of someone and their reasons to enter.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If you have any information relating to the above incidents or saw anything suspicious in these areas at the time they took place, please call 101 quoting the relevant log number. Alternatively, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Further advice from Gwent Police: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Unfortunately these days not everyone who calls at your door is who they seem to be – so you should always be on your guard. Follow the Three Step Plan: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

1. If in doubt keep them out – It sounds simple, but if you don’t let someone in – they will go away. Don’t let them pressure you into opening the door. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

2. Be prepared. Be in control – Think about what to say to doorstep cold callers in advance. And keep a list of key contact numbers near your phone so you can check out legitimate callers. Ask all other unwanted callers to go away. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

3. Call a neighbour or the police – Contact a local relative or nominated neighbour who can help verify a cold caller. If you think someone is a rogue trader call us on 101. To report a distraction burglar or rogue trader who has taken your money and is still in the area – call 999. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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