One of Sheffield’s senior officers is urging people to be vigilant after a string of burglaries across the city by criminals posing as bogus officials.
On Friday last week (6 September), officers attended two incidents in the Gleadless Valley area, where elderly people were targeted by offenders claiming to be from the local authority.
Yesterday afternoon (10 September), two further incidents were reported to us, with offenders this time gaining access to properties by claiming to be from the Water Board.
The first happened at around 1pm in the Colley Drive area of Ecclesfield, where it is reported than an unknown man, gained access to an 87-year-old woman’s home and took a large quantity of cash.
Later in the afternoon, a similar incident was reported in Richmond, where an 84-year-old man was targeted.
Superintendent Delphine Waring said: “These offenders are shameless and they are targeting some of our most vulnerable residents.
“If you know anything about these incidents, or who is responsible, I would urge you to consider how you would feel if this was happening to your own mother, father or grandparent. This is distressing for the victims and upsetting for their families.
“I’d also ask that anyone reading this, please have a conversation with your own family members, to make sure they know to not just let anyone in their homes. Urge them to take a moment to think about who is at their door, make sure they use a door chain, or even speak to the caller through the window instead.
“Make sure they are keeping their doors and windows locked; in incidents like this people often take an opportunity to sneak in through open back doors. The best advice is, if they’re not expecting anyone or they’re not sure, then don’t open the door.
“It’s also worth remembering that ID doesn’t always mean someone is genuine, the best thing to do is contact the company they say they’re from, using a number from your phone book or the internet. The ‘Water Board’ as it was traditionally called, does not exist anymore, so worth explaining this too.
“If you have any information that might help us with our enquiries, please contact 101 quoting incident number 625 of 9 September.”
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