Distraction burglaries fall – despite sickening raids

SUFFOLK: As police continue to probe two sickening raids at the homes of elderly victims, figures today revealed distraction burglaries in Suffolk are actually on the decline.

The Evening Star teamed up with insurance company tiger.co.uk yesterday to offer a �5,000 reward to find two distraction burglars who left vulnerable pensioners traumatised in their own homes.

But despite the raids, it appears that the number of similar crimes in the county have shown signs of decreasing over the last three years.

Between January and April this year there were a total of 15 distraction burglaries in the county, compared to 29 for the same four month period in 2008 and 26 in 2009.

Despite this, police are urging people, particularly vulnerable residents, to be vigilant.

Inspector Chris Gilmore said: “The majority of people who call on homes are genuine, but we would like people to be aware of this kind of crime and to take some simple steps to avoid becoming a victim.

“The simple routine of ‘lock, stop, chain, check‘ can prevent an offender gaining access to your home.

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“Distraction burglars do not usually break in or use force or threats, rather they take advantage of the victim’s vulnerability or good nature, so that when residents agree to help them or engage in conversation, a burglary is committed.

“We would ask everyone to be wary of any callers that arrive unannounced and to remember that you do not have to allow them entry in to your home. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”

We revealed yesterday how a woman from Nacton village who had recently lost her husband was targeted by a burglar who stole her late husband’s engagement and wedding jewellery among other valuable items.

In Felixstowe, a couple were left frightened and bewildered after a distraction raider stole cash.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

n Are you the victim of a distraction burglar? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk