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Bogus official attempted burglaries - Wigan
Wednesday 21st November, 2007

Police are warning residents in Wigan to be extra vigilant after two attempted bogus official burglaries in the area this week.

At about 7.40am on Monday 19 November 2007, a man called at a house on Leader Street in Scholes and told the 92-year-old woman who lived there that he was from the Water Board.

He told her that he had come to check the water and they went into the kitchen. The man turned on the tap and asked the woman to keep an eye on it until it stopped running water.

He opened the cupboard doors under the sink and asked the woman to empty it but she refused. The man said he would come back later as he was fitting a boiler next door and left.

The man was wearing a black jumper and light coloured shirt.

The second incident happened at about 8.30am at a house on Petticoat Lane, Higher Ince.

Two men knocked at the address and told the 76-year-old woman who answered the door that they were fitting a boiler next door and needed to check her hot water pressure.

The woman refused to let the men in and they left.

One of the men is described as white, 20-30-years-old, of slim build with short dark hair. He was wearing a dark jumper and light coloured shirt. The second man is described as white, 20-30-years-old, shorter than the first man and bald. He was wearing a dark coloured waterproof top and gloves.

Sergeant David Lamb from Wigan said: "Nothing was actually stolen in both these incidents and I believe that is down to the actions taken by the victims. Although the first victim did let the man into her house initially, she made sure she did not leave him alone and so he was not given the opportunity to steal anything. In the second incident the victim acted correctly by refusing to let the men in.

"I would always urge people to ask for some form of identification if they get an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from a company."

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7118 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police advice for dealing with callers:

  • Stop and think before you open the door. If possible, look out of the window or use a door viewer (spy-hole) to check whether you know the caller.
  • If you have a door bar or chain put it on before opening the door.
  • Ask to see an identification card and check it carefully, but ensure you close the door on the caller while doing this.
  • If you have not got a door bar or chain, ask the caller to push their identity card through the letterbox, then check the photograph corresponds to the caller.
  • Call the company concerned to verify the identity of the caller, but do not rely on the number given to you as this may be fake. Look it up yourself in the phone book.
  • Do not open the door until you are happy with the caller's identity.
  • If you still have any doubts, ask them to call back when a family member, friend or neighbour can be present. Genuine callers would never wish to cause distress, and would be happy to call again.

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