Police are warning people living in Northampton to be on their guard following reports of burglars using a lost football as an excuse to get into houses.
Officers have had a number of reports from residents in the Kingsley area of Northampton, where a man has being found in or near gardens or has called at a house saying they are looking for their football. Incidents have been reported in Mountfield Road, The Vale and Collingwood Road.
Pc Ali York said residents needed to be alert to this kind of suspicious call and to report any similar incidents they are concerned about.
He said: “In most of the cases we’ve heard about, a man has called at a house, said he’s lost his football and then asked if he could look in the garden. The man has been described as tall, with dark hair and an olive-skinned complexion.
“We’re concerned this maybe an attempt to distract the householder while someone else tries to steal something or a tactic to get information about this or a neighbouring property.
“On one occasion the home owner found a dark-haired man in the garden. When he asked him to leave, he said he was looking for his football. It may not be related, but the following night the house next door was burgled.
“I would urge anyone who gets such a call at their home, particularly if they live in the Kingsley, Parkland or Abington areas of Northampton, to call the police as soon as possible.”
Anyone concerned about any suspicious activity, or anyone with any information, can call Northamptonshire Police on 101.
In an emergency, if you believe a crime is progress, call 999.
Alternatively, to give information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.