Woman in 70s robbed during distraction burglary

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

Detectives are appealing for information following a distraction burglary that occurred at a house in the Beechland Way area of Lisburn on the afternoon of Monday, November 7.

A man claimed to be from a housing association and said that he was there to check on fencing. When one of the residents, a woman aged in her 70s, took him to the back garden, another man entered the house but was disturbed in a bedroom by another resident.

Both men then left with an amount of cash. It was later confirmed that no official staff had been in the area that day.

Detective Sergeant Melanie McGrory said: “One of the men is described as being aged in his 20s, with shaven dark hair and he was wearing a dark top and dark trousers. The other man was wearing a blue cap, blue jacket and blue jeans. I would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact detectives at Lisburn Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 676 of 07/11/16.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to treat with caution any stranger who comes to their door. Bogus callers use many guises, such as working for an electricity company, the water service, a satellite or cable TV provider and even pretend that they have lost a ball or even a cat or dog in your property. Once they have your attention, an accomplice will make an attempt to sneak inside without you noticing so he, or indeed she, can steal things like jewellery, cash, mobile phones and other devices. Whatever they can get their hands on they will try to take and you won’t know what has happened until they are gone.

“You can also use the Quickcheck number 0800 013 22 90 to check if a caller is genuine. The 24-hour Freephone service enables householders to challenge and independently verify the identity of anyone calling at their door. The call is free and will be answered by a trained operator. They will take the details of the company, which the caller claims to be visiting on behalf of, then contact the organisation to determine if the caller is genuine. If there is anything suspicious the operator will contact the police directly.”