Pensioner targetted in attempted distraction burglary
POLICE in Ballymena are reminding householders not to let strangers into their homes in the wake of an attempted distraction burglary in the Castle Street area of the town on Tuesday, February 26.
During the incident, a 76-year-old lady answered her door to two men who claimed to be there to check the water.
The pair asked to go upstairs but left when they were refused. It is believed that both men were wearing dark, zipped coats, tracksuit bottoms and woolly hats.
Anyone who noticed any unusual activity in the area or who has any information is asked to contact Ballymena Police Station on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Following this incident, police are reminding householders not to let strangers into their homes and to inform them immediately of any incidents of this nature on 0845 600 8000.
Bogus callers depend on the good nature and goodwill of others. They tend to target the more vulnerable members of our society and in particular, older members of our community. It is always advisable to be cautious of unexpected callers, a police spokesperson said.
It is worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a person’s home. Therefore the advice below is useful when dealing with unexpected visitor, the spokesperson added.
1. Before answering your door, ensure your back door is locked.
2. Think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
3. If you have any doubts about anyone calling to your door don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.
4. Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone Quick Check on 0800 013 22 90 and the person on the other end will check the caller at your door is legitimate. The service is free and operates 24 hours a day. Genuine callers will not mind waiting until you have checked that they are who they say they are.
5. Be aware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice who is waiting to act upon this distraction.
6. Police would also urge householders to follow some crime prevention measures. Reassessing your crime prevention routine is an important first step. Ensure your windows are locked as well as doors and make use of security lighting and alarms.
Neighbours can also play a part in helping protect the more vulnerable in their community. Residents should try to look out for one another and report all suspicious activity to police immediately. The non emergency police number is 0845 600 8000. In an emergency dial 999.
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Weather for Ballymena
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
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