Police issue warning following spate of burglaries

Suffolk Police have issued an appeal for residents across the county to be extra vigilant after an elderly man was burgled by two men claiming to be from the water board.

The incident took place in Penshurst Road, Ipswich, at around 1.30pm when two men knocked at the man’s door telling him they needed to turn the water off.

The victim was struck by the offenders who then searched the property, although it is not yet known whether any items were stolen.

The men are described as white with one wearing a baseball cap and a black bomber jacket. There might also have been a third man involved.

They left the area in a vehicle believed to be a silver Volvo estate, which turned down Bixley Road and headed towards St Augustines roundabout.

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This is the last in a string of similar distraction burglaries in the county in recent weeks, where criminals have tried to trick their way into the homes of vulnerable people, often claiming to be from a utility company.

Police have issued a reminder that there is no such company as the water board, and warned people to be wary of anyone using this terminology.

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Detective Inspector Steve Clabburn of Ipswich CID said: “This is a despicable type of crime where offenders will deliberately target the elderly, who they know are more trusting and more inclined to open their door if they feel there is a problem.

“Therefore it is vital that friends, relatives and neighbours emphasise to those elderly or vulnerable people just how important it is for them to be sure who they are letting into their homes and to keep their doors secure so they can check callers’ credentials before letting them in.”

Police are recommending people keep their doors locked, stop to think before answering the door especially if they are not expecting anyone, use the chain or bar before opening the door and check the details and identity of any visitor before letting them into the home.

There is a list of phone numbers for utility companies available on the Consumer Council for Water website www.ccwater.org.uk.

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