[P]olice in Cumbria are warning members of the public to be vigilant of distraction burglars following an incident in Kirkby Stephen.
The incident occurred at a property on High Street at sometime between 2.15pm and 2.30pm on Wednesday 13th April where an offender demanded money off a woman in her nineties.
The offender claimed that the victim’s son had agreed for him to do repair work on her roof. He asked for payment for this which the victim refused. She then entered her house and the offender followed her in where he again demanded payment on two occasions before leaving empty-handed as the woman refused.
Enquires are ongoing to identify this offender.
Sergeant Laura Milburn said: “Distraction burglars prey on the most vulnerable people in society. They use high-pressured techniques to gain entry to homes and demand money for a product or service. Whilst in the house they may also steal possessions and money that they can find.
“We do want to stress that not all cold callers are criminals. Those who are there for legitimate purposes will be willing to show you identification, provide you with contact details of their business and should not pressurise you into trying to get into your home.
“Our aim is to help protect vulnerable members of our communities and ensure that they have the confidence to say no and shut the door. I’d also ask that members of the public look out for vulnerable members of the community and report any suspicious activity. Following this Police can then be deployed to the area where the salesmen’s identities and authenticities can be verified.”
If you wish to make a complaint about a trader or report illegal doorstep activities please report the matter to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or call the Police on 101.
Anyone with information into the attempted distraction burglary yesterday is asked to contact police on 101.