Wiltshire Police are appealing for information following two distraction burglaries in Swindon.
The first incident took place at a property on Stamford Close, Toothill, on July 31 shortly before 1pm.
The victim, a male in his late 70’s, was at home when a male claiming to be from the water board asked to be let in via an intercom system.
The suspect claimed that the downstairs properties had been flooded and he needed to check the victim’s taps.
The victim let the male into his property and he then checked the kitchen taps and looked under the kitchen sink.
The suspect then left the man’s home. After he had left, the victim realised that a substantial amount of money had been stolen from his property.
The second incident took place at a property at Dores Court, Swindon on August 2 at approximately 1.40pm.
On this occasion, a man knocked on the front door of the home of a man in his 80’s and told him he was from the water board and needed to check his taps.
The suspect was permitted into the property where he turned on the kitchen taps and asked the victim to check the water meter in the bathroom.
As he did this, the suspect then told him he was leaving and would return in 10 minutes. The man left the property and did not return.
It is not believed that anything was stolen during this incident.
The suspect in both cases is described as a white male, aged between 30 to 40 years old, approximately 6ft tall with light brown hair. He was wearing a workman’s waistcoat which was either orange or yellow in colour.
PC Jared Yalden from the Priority Crime Team in Swindon, said: “Bogus callers often target the elderly and the most vulnerable members of our society.
"I would urge residents not to open their doors unless they are expecting a visitor and to check their identity before letting them in.
"Genuine employees will be more than happy to show you some form of ID and for you to call their employer to ensure that they are legitimate.”
By adhering to the following advice, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of bogus callers:
• Always keep your door shut and locked.
• If someone comes to your door and you aren’t expecting a caller it is important that you check who it is by using a spy-hole or look through a window. Do not open the door to anyone you don’t know or are not expecting.
• Official visitors will always arrange an appointment with you beforehand – if no appointment has been made, don’t open the door.
• Do not keep large amounts of cash at home – it is much safer in a bank or building society.
• Always keep purses and wallets hidden away, out of sight.
• Never keep pin numbers with credit or debit cards.
• Never agree to have work carried out by someone who is just passing, or believe such people when they claim that repairs need to be made. If you think work might need to be done get quotes from three companies and ask friends and neighbours for recommendations.
• If you see anything suspicious or think a bogus caller may have called at your door, report it to police immediately by calling 999.
Anyone with information regarding these or similar incidents is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information may be left anonymously if preferred.