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Police issue appeal and advice after a series of distraction burglaries in Swadlincote

Alert message sent 06/02/2020 10:36:00

Information sent on behalf of Derbyshire Constabulary


We are issuing urgent advice and asking for information after elderly people in Swadlincote have been targeted in a series of distraction burglaries.

The action is being taken following three incidents this week.

On Monday, 3 February at around 10.30pm, a 91-year-old resident of Burton Road, Swadlincote opened the door to a man who then forced his way in to the address and stole items, including sentimental jewellery.

Then about 15 minutes later the same evening, a 77-year-old man answered the door of his home on Rest Haven to a man demanding money for work that hadn’t been carried out. When the victim refused to give the man any money he was punched in the face.

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 5 February) at around 2.30pm,  an 88-year-old woman answered the intercom of her home on Belvoir Crescent and allowed a man access to her flat who said he was there to fix the alarm cords.

He walked in to her living room but the victim became uneasy and rang her son who lives nearby and the man left without taking anything.

Detective Inspector Dan Phillips is leading the investigation to find the offender. He said: “We are conducting enquiries to urgently find this man as he is clearly targeting vulnerable members of the community and would urge anyone with any information to make contact with us.

“We strongly believe that all the incidents are connected and the offender in all three cases is the same man.”

The offender is described as a white man, approximately 50-years of age, 6 ft tall and stocky build.

Sergeant Tarj Nizzer, is in charge of Safer Neighbourhood policing for the area, and explained: “We have increased patrols in the area to provide re-assurance and, in an attempt to stop further offences, are delivering leaflets with advice as to how people can try to prevent such offences happening.”

Officers are giving the following advice to residents:

If you are not sure who is at the door, don’t open it.
  • Check the identity of any caller. Confirm who they are by calling the company they work for using number from a bill, directory or from online. Do not call any numbers they give you.
  • Ask a neighbour to come around to check them before you open the door.
  • Tell them to come back at a time when someone will be at home with you.
  • Before opening one door, make sure all other door and windows are locked and closed.
  • Use the door chain every time you answer the door.
  • If the caller is selling something or says that you need work carrying out tell them you are not interested and ask them to leave. Genuine, reputable firms won’t need to drum up business by cold calling.
If you have any information that could help identify the offender for these crimes please make contact using any of the following non-emergency contact methods and quoting reference number 2*66539:
  • Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
  • Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
  • Website – complete the online contact form www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
  • Phone – call us on 101.
  • You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org

 
Message sent by
Paul Cannon (Media team, Staff, South Division)

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