The burglars use various ploys to divert the attention of householders before stealing their proeprty.
Following these distraction burglaries in Belfast, renewed advice has been issued by Detective Inspector Pete Mullan:
“To lessen your chance of falling victim to a bogus caller or distraction burglaries I would remind householders of the following advice:
“Before opening your front door to any caller, make sure your back door and any accessible windows are secure.
“Take a moment to secure your door chain (if you don’t have one, consider getting one fitted) and use your spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise the caller.
“Do not open the door unless you do.
“If the person claims to represent a business or organisation, ask them for ID and check it carefully (still with the door chain on).
“Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card and won’t mind showing it to you.
“The QUICK CHECK scheme can be used to check the identity of callers. Freephone 0800 013 22 90 and an operator can quickly check with a range of service providers that the person at the door is a genuine representative.”
Detective Inspector Mullan added “We understand it can feel awkward and uncomfortable to keep people standing on the doorstep but this is no reason to allow strangers, and possibly criminals, into your home.
“Do not feel pressured, if you have any doubt – keep them out. 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 the police immediately.”
“Please share this advice with family, friends or neighbours.”