Warning after distraction burglars strike at two Northamptonshire homes today

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Distraction burglars struck two Northamptonshire homes on the same day, taking cash and other items.

Two men called at the victims’ homes in Hartwell and Bugbrooke today (October 5) offering to do some hedge cutting, before then asking for a drink. While the elderly home owners went to get a drink the men entered the property and stole items, including cash from within.

Northamptonshire Police say the offenders were two white men in a mauve coloured Transit van.

Officers are appealing for information and are urging people never to open the door to anyone they are not expecting, whoever they say they are.

They are also asking people to share the following advice with family and friends:

- Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it – and if you don’t know who it is, don’t answer it.

- Where possible fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent window.

- Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. Don’t feel you are being rude, genuine callers won’t mind. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.

- Set up passwords with your utility companies – genuine callers will need to recite this password to you.

- Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards – if the person isn’t genuine the ID and the telephone number won’t be either. Obtain telephone numbers direct from the phone directory. Alternatively make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone.

- If someone is knocking on the door saying they are the police, call 101 and check the identity with the police control room. In an emergency call 999.

- Look out for those who are vulnerable within your family or neighbourhood.

Anyone who has suspicions or concerns that distraction burglars are operating in their neighbourhood or targeting someone they know, should call 101 or the dedicated doorstep crime number on 0345 23 07 702.

Witnesses to the two distraction burglaries, or anyone with information, are asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.