Police are appealing for witnesses and warning homeowners to be on their guard, after a distraction burglary in Harrogate.
On Wednesday 27 April 2016, three men attended the home of an elderly man on Rosset Avenue, Harrogate, telling him they were there to check the roof. They claimed it would need substantial work, costing thousands of pounds.
The victim handed over a quantity of cash, but a further amount of cash was stolen from inside the property while the victim was outside inspecting the work.
The victim remembers seeing a white van parked on or near his drive at the time of the incident, which took place between 12.30pm and 4pm.
DC Quita Passmore, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
I am appealing for anyone who knows anything about this incident, or may have seen suspicious activity in the area, to get in touch with me.
I would also urge people to be on their guard, and never allow themselves to be pressured into agreeing to work on their property. Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trailer. Never agree to any work or sign anything on the spot, and if you ask a trader to leave and they don’t, call the police.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for DC Quita Passmore or the Harrogate Investigation Hub. Please quote reference 12160073046.
Last month, North Yorkshire Police took part in Operation Rogue Trader, a nationwide week of action targeting doorstep criminals.
At the time, DC Lesley Raffan, of North Yorkshire Police’s Force Intelligence Bureau, said:
Bogus callers and distraction burglars take advantage of people’s trust in the most callous way, only to trick them out of money or steal from them. I have seen first-hand the devastating impact that these criminals can have on their victims, who are often older or vulnerable.
For more information about distraction burglary and rogue trading – including case studies, videos and crime prevention advice which you can share with friends and family – visit the North Yorkshire Police website at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/boguscallers