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Security advice issued after distraction burglary in Backwell

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Police are reminding people of security advice following a distraction burglary in Backwell earlier this week.

At approximately 2.30-3.30pm, on Tuesday 16 February, a woman living near Station Road, received a knock on her front door from a male who said he was delivering shopping to her.

The woman, who is in her 90s, said she had not made an order and refused to accept the goods. He said he could only accept her refusal if she wrote a note to that effect and while she went into another room to do so, her handbag was taken from the hallway.

The male is described as being in his mid-to-late teens, approximately 5ft 3-5ins, with short straight black hair. He did not have any facial hair.

PC Nikki Adams, from the Operation Remedy team, said: “Distraction burglars often target the most vulnerable or elderly, believing they are likely to be the most trusting.

“Although we believe this is an isolated incident at this time, we’d urge everyone to be aware of the signs of doorstep crime and to raise awareness with family and friends to prevent similar occurrences.

“Anyone who saw what happened, or has experienced a similar call, should contact police on 101 giving reference number 5221034194.”

How to avoid doorstep crime

  • If you are not sure who is at your door, do not open it or let anyone into your home. Where possible, have a safety chain, intercom or video doorbell/viewer fitted and always attach the chain/use the intercom before opening the door to strangers.
  • Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they claim to be from. Use the numbers listed in the phone book or website. Do not use any phone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.
  • Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the visitor if unsure.
  • If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a phone call, needs a drink or pen and paper etc, make them wait outside and while you’re away from your door, close and lock it. Remember: it is your doorstep, your decision.

For more information, visit the crime prevention page on our website.