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Elderly woman targeted in attempted distraction burglary at her Belfast home

Published 24/09/2015

A elderly woman has been targeted in an attempted distraction burglary at her house in Belfast.

It happened in the Lawnview Street area of Belfast on Wednesday evening.

At around 5.35pm an elderly woman opened the door of her house to three men who stated they were from a local authority.

They asked to go through her house to check the guttering at the rear of the premises.

The woman did not let the man enter her house - it is believed they then left the area in a white van.

Detective Inspector Michelle Griffin said: “I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the area or witnessed this white van to contact Reactive and Organised Crime Detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101.

"Of, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“I would urge people to please be aware of your elderly or vulnerable neighbours or family members and share the following crime prevention measures with them."

Safety measures

1. Take a moment to think before you open the door and use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise the person.

2. Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone Quick Check, the special free phone service, on 0800 013 22 90. Quick Check is supported by all the main Northern Ireland utility companies and they will check if calls are scheduled for your address on that day.

3. Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your back garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice who is waiting to act upon this distraction.

4. If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.

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