Police investigating a burglaries involving criminals impersonating police officers have warned the public to be aware and not be afraid to challenge callers at their homes.
Forces in Essex, Kent and London are investigating over twenty offences where suspects have burgled the homes of vulnerable people aged over 70 using distraction techniques.
Nine of those incidents have been in Essex, where suspects have pretended to be police officers responding to an alleged crime and have on occasions showed fake police warrant cards or other identification.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Hendy said: “Targeting older or more vulnerable people is despicable and we need to catch these people as soon as possible. If you’re not expecting an officer to call and someone knocks on your door, please call 101 if you’re suspicious. On the call we’ll be able to check whether the call is genuine and if it is then the officer won’t mind at all. It’s really important that people pass this message on to friends and relatives and call us with any information.”
In one case a woman, aged in her 70s, was woken at 12.30am and told she had been burgled. One of the suspects distracted her while another climbed through a window and ransacked the living room to stage a burglary. The suspects made off with a three-figure sum of cash.
In another incident suspects burgled the home of a woman, aged in her 90s, before knocking on a neighbour’s door dressed as police officers to inform them of the crime.