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Appeal over doorbell damage at Thornbury pensioner’s home

We’re appealing for information after a smart doorbell was damaged at the home of a woman in her 90s.

The lady’s family had fitted the device after a man claiming to be from the “waterboard” called and unsuccessfully tried to talk his way into the property at about 6pm on Monday 7 December. This is a tactic often used by so-called “distraction burglars” who try to trick their way into people’s homes in order to steal.

Just before 7pm on  Wednesday 9 December police were called to the address in Eastland Avenue, Thornbury, after an alert made the family aware the doorbell had been damaged.

The officers searched the area but found no trace of a suspect.

We’re keen to identify the man shown in this image, recorded approaching the doorbell at 6.49pm on the Wednesday. He is described as wearing a black jacket, a black face covering, gloves and a blue hat.

Do you know this man?

Our Safer Homes team have visited to advise the family who have put additional security measures in place.

If you have vulnerable elderly relatives or friends please talk to them about how to stay safe from doorstep crime. Prevention tips include:

  • never open the door to an unexpected caller until you’ve checked their identification – use a door chain or viewer, intercom or a ‘smart’ doorbell. Genuine callers expect it
  • if you’re not sure, don’t open the door
  • if you are suspicious of a caller tell us straight away – ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101
  • keep your cash in the bank, not at home
  • keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room
  • if you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away
  • join Neighbourhood Watch

Visit our doorstep crime prevention page for more advice

If you have any information which could help the investigation, including dashcam footage of Eastland Avenue between 5.30pm and 7.30pm on Monday 7 or Wednesday 9 December, call 101 quoting reference 5220 276788.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.