Police in Angus are reminding residents to report suspicious activity following recent bogus caller incidents in Arbroath.
A man claiming to be from a utilities company spoke to the occupier at an address in Abbot Street last Thursday (January 7) and after saying that he was there to check the water managed to convince the occupier to let him into her home. Whilst within he stole a purse and left. He is described as being of thin build wearing dark clothing.
At another property in Abbot Street that same morning, a man attempt to enter the address, again to check the water supply, however the occupier rightly asked for identification and he left and did not return. He is described as being in his late 30s, very short in height, of slim build, clean shaven and had short light blonde hair. He was wearing a navy blue waterproof jacket. He was carrying documents within a plastic folder.
Criminals who commit doorstep crime are very convincing, believable and take advantage of the most vulnerable and trusting people our communities. They will try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not. They may come to your address and stating that they need to carry out meter readings or collect money for charity. They may say they are from utility companies or that they are tradespersons or are on local authority business. In reality bogus callers are criminals trying to steal cash and valuables.
If someone attends at your door unexpectedly be alert. If you have a door chain make sure it is secured before opening the door and keep it on while talking to callers. If you don’t have a door chain, check who is at the door from the nearest window. If you have a security spy-hole; use it to check who is at your door. Always ask for identification but remember they can be faked and shouldn’t be relied upon on their own. In addition, don’t assume a caller is genuine because they are wearing a uniform. If you have any doubts at all, tell the caller to come back when someone else is home. Don’t feel embarrassed, genuine callers won’t mind rearranging.
Please look out for your neighbours and report any concerns you may have to police. Police Scotland work closely with partner agencies to tackle these offenders.
Remember, utility companies have the option of setting ‘personal passwords’, which are quoted when they need to attend at your home. Ask your utility company about this service. Contact your local council to see if they have a Trusted Trader Scheme in your area where you will find a list of accredited tradespeople.
For valuable information on doorstep crime and how you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim visit: http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/campaigns/2015/beat-doorstep-crime
Anyone who has information that could assist officers with their enquiries into these incidents should contact Police Scotland on 101. Anyone who has any concerns about suspicious activity or persons in their area is also asked to contact Police Scotland. In an emergency contact 999.