Welcome back to the Solon blog.
Today we’re talking about distraction burglary and bogus callers. These are terms that you have probably come across in the past, but perhaps you find yourself wondering exactly what they refer to?
Well wonder no more as our simple guide below highlights the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the issue.
What is it?
Distraction burglary is a form of doorstep crime that relies on misleading people to gain access to their property. Common targets include the elderly or vulnerable and people who live alone.
Where does it happen?
Mostly at private residences like houses and flats, however some businesses have also been known to be affected.
When does it happen?
Distraction burglary can occur at any time however most instances tend to be during daylight hours so bogus callers can maximise the illusion of authenticity. These criminals don’t need to wait for cover of darkness, they rely on conning their way inside in plain sight.
Who does it?
Who these people are is simple: they are criminals. However who they are pretending to be is another matter entirely. Bogus callers will pose as many things to gain access including workmen, utility company staff, council workers and even Police Officers.
How do they do it?
The offenders will attempt to win trust by explaining why they are at the property and why they need to come inside. For example a bogus caller claiming to be from British Gas may tell a resident they have found evidence of a problem with the boiler at their property and that they have been sent to repair it.
In some cases the actual caller won’t be looking to commit a burglary at all; certain burglars work in pairs and the caller may simply try to gain access and keep the resident occupied whilst their accomplice slips in through the open door and commits the robbery. Similarly a caller may try to keep the resident talking at the front door while their partner enters through the back door. In some cases it has even been known for children to be used to distract residents.
Why do they do it?
If successful in gaining entry, or occupying the resident so an accomplice gains entry, bogus callers are free to target any valuables within the property. The targets can range from large items like TV’s and laptops, to the searching of bedrooms for money and jewellery. In some instances the callers may drop their false identity once safely inside the property and proceed to intimidate the resident into providing sensitive information such as bank details.
Did you find this useful? Check out our Product Focus featuring our new Police Approved door chain Here – the first step to protecting yourself against bogus callers.