Havering police urge residents to be ‘extra vigilant’ after series of attempted burglaries

A nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital after being hit by a car

A nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital after being hit by a car - Credit: PA WIRE

Havering Police have called on residents to be “extra vigilant” after a series of distraction burglaries has taken place in the borough.

In the last week, three incidents during which bogus workers have tried to step inside residents’ home on false pretexts have been reported to police.

Since April 6, police have been called at addresses in Upminster, Cranham and Rainham to deal with similar burglary attempts.

On one occasion, a couple of valuable watches and jewellery were stolen by the thieves at an address in Cranham.

Twice, a couple of men told the residents they had to repair the water main and needed to turn their water off.

Another time, someone offered to fix and clean the house’s windows to be able to step inside.

PC Rosie Bennett told the Recorder: “People are operating in the area and we want to put the message across to residents to be extra vigilant with strangers calling and knocking at their door.

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“Historically, these people can be wearing high visibility jackets or a uniform that makes them look like they are working for a company.

“It could be about anything, when people would need to step through your door.”

PC Bennett added elderly people could be particularly targeted because they are usually at home during the day.

She advised residents to ask for the workers’ proof of identity and demand them to come back later – leaving enough time to call and check with the company they say they are from if that is correct.

“If in doubt, you can always call us,” said PC Bennett.

“It doesn’t matter if it happens to be a legitimate company, we are more than happy to come and check,” she added.

“It can be very distressing if someone comes into your house and we want to do what we can to prevent that.”

Enquiries over the three incidents are on-going.

PC Bennett confirmed safer neighbourhoods teams will do additional patrolling in the areas affected and across the borough.