Thames Valley Police is appealing for information following a distraction burglary in Banbury Road, Oxford.
Around 5.30pm on Friday 29 September, an elderly victim was at his home in Banbury Road, when two men knocked on his front door. They said they were working for Thames Water and needed to test the taps and due to them using the victim’s water, they would pay him £10. Both men then entered the home.
One man distracted the victim in his kitchen, leaving the second man free to search the victims lounge. They have then left the property five minutes later after stealing £150 from the victim.
The first offender is white man around 5’9 of a slim build with black medium length hair, aged around 25-years-old with a northern accent. He was wearing a medium brown waist length jacket and dark trousers.
The second offender is a white man, around 5’9 of a stocky build. He was aged around 25-years-old wearing a navy top and dark trousers.
Investigating officer PC Jamie Thornton, based at Oxford police station, said: “We are conducting a full investigation into this incident and would like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in this area at this time.
“You can contact me via the Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 quoting reference ‘43170289439’.
“Alternatively, if you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.”
Follow this vital advice to keep you and your home safe from distraction burglars:
Never open your door to someone you don’t know or aren’t expecting. Most callers are genuine, but it’s important to be on your guard. Always make sure a caller is who they say they are before letting them into your home.
Distraction burglars may try to trick their way into your home by posing as officials or playing for sympathy by asking for help, such as to use your toilet or phone. These people often work in pairs or groups. The caller will try to distract you so their partner can sneak into your home to steal.
Genuine callers will be happy to show you their identification or call back when someone else is at home with you. So always ask if you’re unsure.
If you are a pensioner, have a disability or impairment, you may be able to set up a password with your energy provider to help protect you further.
If don’t know or aren’t expecting a caller:
- make sure your back door is locked before answering the front door
- use a door chain when opening the door
- ask for identification and check it carefully before letting anyone in
- ask them to come back when someone else is at home with you
- direct people asking for help to a nearby shop or other public place, don’t let them in
Always report any suspicious callers to the police on 101.
For more information on how to keep you and your home safe, visit the Thames Valley Police website.