Detectives in Coleraine are appealing for information following a report of a burglary in the Hillview Park area of Dunloy on Tuesday, 19th September.
Detective Constable Robin Tosh said: “Police received a report that a male had called at the house at around 8:15am that day claiming to be from the waterboard. The man said there was a burst water main and he needed to check the water. He gained access to the property and stayed there for around 10 minutes. After he left the house, he was seen with another male, about five minutes later.
“The occupant subsequently discovered on Friday, 22 September that a sum of cash was missing from her handbag, which had been in the living room when the suspect called with her.
“Police are appealing for anyone who was in the Hillview Park, Bridge Road area of Dunloy on Tuesday, 19th September and saw any males acting suspiciously, or who had similar calls to their home that day or since then to contact detectives at Coleraine Criminal Investigation Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 850 of 25/09/17.
“Police are also issuing advice on how to handle cold callers. Older and more vulnerable members of the community may feel pressurised into accepting goods or service from cold callers therefore the following advice should be shared with anyone you know who lives alone or requires extra support.
∙ Think before you open the door – use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
∙ Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully.
∙ Be wary 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.
∙ If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, 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.
“You can also use the Quickcheck number – 0800 013 22 90 to check if a caller is genuine. The 24-hour freephone service enables householders to challenge and independently verify the identity of anyone calling at their door. The call is free and will be answered by a trained operator. They will take the details of the company, which the caller claims to be visiting on behalf of, and then contact the organisation to determine if the caller is genuine. If there is anything suspicious the operator will contact police directly.
“For details of current scams and how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam go to the Scamwise NI internet site atwww.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/