Police sound alarm after dodgy door-knockers target Northampton neighbourhood
Homes in three Abington roads report callers wearing 'paint-splattered clothing' offering to do maintenance work
Detectives have issued an urgent warning to beware of conmen trying to trick their way into homes after a spate of burglaries in the Abington area of Northampton.
Officers say a number of households reported two men knocking on doors in Cedar Road, Birchfield Road and Oakwood Road offering to do maintenance.
One victim paid £40 to after being told repair work needed doing, which turned out to be unnecessary.
Descriptions of the pair are being circulated by Neighbourhood Policing Teams along with a number of tips on how to avoid falling prey to distraction burglaries with the motto 'if you're not sure, don't open the door.'
The reports came around the same time as a similar burglary was reported across town in Rothersthorpe Road where a man claiming to be from the 'water board' tricked his way into an elderly woman's home and distracted her while an accomplice snuck in and stole cash and jewellery.
A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: "We know offences like this cause great distress to victims.
"Remember that sadly not everyone is who they say they are, or may have ulterior motives, especially if they knock at your door to point out a supposed problem, such as damage to your roof.
"Please share our advice for dealing with unexpected callers with any relatives, friends or neighbours who may be vulnerable to this kind of crime."
The two men seen knocking on doors in Abington are both described as white and wearing paint-spattered clothing. The first was aged in his early 20s, the second in his late 30s to early 40s.
Officers are appealing for anyone with information about the two men, or who may have CCTV or smart doorbell footage, to call 101 using incident number 21000658043. Police advise:
■ Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it. Fit a spyhole to identify callers or talk to them through a window
■ Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. You are not being rude and genuine callers won’t mind
■ Don’t let people you don’t know into your home, even if they say they need help.
■ Set up passwords with your utility companies which genuine callers will need to talk to you. Always ask to see an ID card, too
■ Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards — they may be fake. Get numbers direct from the phone book or keep your own list near the phone
■ If you’re still not sure a caller is who they say they are, turn them away. Legitimate companies will not mind