Essex Police launch appeal for witnesses after distraction burglary in High Roding

PUBLISHED: 13:36 26 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:26 30 May 2010

POLICE detectives are warning residents to be vigilant after a distraction burglary in High Roding. At around 9.30am on October 20 a man knocked on the door of a property claiming that there was a water leak . Shortly afterwards, a second man arrived and

POLICE detectives are warning residents to be vigilant after a distraction burglary in High Roding.

At around 9.30am on October 20 a man knocked on the door of a property claiming that there was "a water leak". Shortly afterwards, a second man arrived and asked to be taken to the kitchen to attend to the leak.

The two unidentified suspects stole a pair of scissors and caused £80 of damage to a locked briefcase.

The first suspect is a white male, probably aged in his 30s, around 5ft 3ins, clean shaven, mousy brown hair poking out from a light coloured peak cap. He spoke with an English accent, not local, and wearing a fawn coloured waist high jacket.

The second man is probably aged in his 30s, around 5ft 3ins, medium build, and clean shaven He spoke with a broken English accent, and was wearing a dark wool hat covering all his hair, a dark coloured, waist high jacket, and blue jeans.

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information about this crime to contact CID at Maldon on 0300 3334444, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A distraction burglary occurs when criminals pick on often vulnerable householders and pretend to be from the authorities or a utility company.

The intention of these bogus callers is either to trick their way into the property, or to distract the resident so that an accomplice can sneak in through the back or front of the property. In all cases, the criminals hope to steal cash and valuables from inside.

Crime reduction officer Peter Caulfield added that, by working together, Essex Police and local communities can help reduce the risk of people becoming victims of distraction burglary.

He said: "There are simple steps you can take to make yourself and others less likely to become a victim. If you feel unsure about the caller do not let them in.

"If they are genuine they will understand. Bogus callers aren't always male, so don't be fooled by a smartly dressed woman.

"Follow the Lock, Stop, Chain and Check rule."

LOCK - make sure your doors and windows are secure. Before you answer your front door, make sure your back door is locked in case the caller has an accomplice.

STOP - See who the caller is before answering by looking through a nearby window, and speak through the window. Once you are happy with the caller, go to the door.

CHAIN - If you choose to open the door, make sure you put the chain on the door before opening it.

CHECK - Find out who your caller is. Ask for their ID and check it carefully. Their identity might be fake so look up in the phone book the company they claim to be from and call it to clarify the facts. Don't ring the number on the caller's ID. Or simply tell them to call again at another time.

Any member of the public who would like more information should call crime reduction officer Peter Caulfield for Uttlesford, Trisha Staerck for Chelmsford and Maldon, and Stephen Armson-Smith for Braintree on 0300 3334444.

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