Police are warning residents in Luton and Dunstable to remain vigilant after distraction burglars claimed a raft a victims in the last week.
Since May 27 there have been seven offences recorded with elderly victims being the primary targets and there currently appears to be two different approaches being taken by offenders to gain access to properties.
The first is an Eastern European man who claims to be from the water board and says that due to maintenance work in the area he needs to check the water supply.
He has targeted two properties in London Road, Dunstable (June 3) where a wallet containing cash was stolen, and Halfway Avenue, Luton (June 2), where he left empty handed.
The same offender is thought to have committed another distraction burglary in Gorham Way,
The second method being used is a white man, aged in his mid to late 20s, who calls at properties claiming to be looking for a missing cat.
This offender has targeted elderly victims in Wellhouse Close, Luton (May 27), where a handbag was stolen; Turners Road South, Luton (May 31), where cash was taken; and Aldhous Close, Luton (June 1), where a watch was stolen.
A further distraction burglary took place in Derwent Avenue, Luton, on June 1, where an offender spoke to the female victim about gardening while a second man accessed her home and stole cash and jewellery.
Detective Constable Nick Foster, who is investigating the distraction burglaries, is keen to hear from anyone who may have information about any of the offences or may have been a target for the offenders.
DC Foster said: “It is highly likely that these offenders have deliberately picked on the elderly in order to take advantage of them.
“The victims are often left extremely distressed by what has happened and we really need the public’s help in identifying the offenders.
“We would also like to remind everyone to be extremely cautious about anyone calling at their home unannounced.
“Always use a door chain or spy-hole to check who is calling before you open the door and if you are ever in doubt, dial 999.”
If you have information relating to these incidents, contact DC Nick Foster or DC Tracey Joyce, in confidence, on 01582 394449 or 01582 394086, the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.