North Yorkshire Police continue their fight against distraction burglaries with the conviction of two men.
Jimmy Connors, aged 22, from Leeds, was sentenced to five years and Joseph Doran, also 22 and from Leeds, received six years imprisonment yesterday (Thursday 2 June) at Newcastle Crown Court, after pleading guilty to a total of 15 offences.
Five of the offences were committed in York, with two more taking place in the village of Welburn and one in Thirsk.
The other police forces involved in the investigation to bring these men to justice were Northumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester as well as West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.
The men posed as officials working on behalf of water and gas companies to gain access to the victims’ homes. All of their victims were elderly people.
Detective Constable Fionna McEwan, of York CID, said: “Connors and Doran are two men who worked in an organised way to target vulnerable members of our communities.
“This type of offence is terrible because it erodes the feeling of safety people should have in their own home. We view offences like this very seriously, and we strive to bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims and their families.
“I encourage people to ask for identification when anyone calls at their home unexpectedly and not to feel embarrassed about asking them to leave if they are unable to produce verifiable ID.”
DC McEwan added: “To help reduce the number of victims of this type of crime North Yorkshire Police has set up the Nominated Neighbour Scheme.
“The idea is for the homeowner to hold up a card to the window or door telling the caller that they do not recognise them and to go to their Nominated Neighbour. That neighbour will then check the caller’s identity. A genuine caller will not mind following the instructions on the card and those with a criminal motive will make off very quickly.
“Whatever happens please make sure that any behaviour is reported to the police immediately.”
If you are interested in getting more information on the scheme you can go to the North Yorkshire Police website – www.northyorkshire.police.uk/neighbour – where you can download the Nominated Neighbour card.
If you have information about people committing this type of offence please contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 24 7. If you would prefer to pass information anonymously you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.