Residents urged to be vigilant following a series of distraction burglaries

Published on: Friday, 16th February 2018

Derbyshire Police are urging residents to be vigilant following a series of distraction burglaries across the county.

Officers are investigating whether the crimes, which all took place on Friday, February 9, are linked.  The victims are aged between 73 and 95 and the crimes took place in Derby, south Derbyshire, Erewash and Amber Valley.

In each case, the burglar or burglars pretended to be from the ‘water board’ and asked to check the victim’s supply.

After similar incidents in Mackworth, Etwall and Codnor, at 5pm, two men went to the home of an elderly couple in Ilkeston.  The 79-year-old woman became suspicious and challenged them.  They ran off empty-handed.  Half an hour later, a man visited the home of a 95-year-old woman in the town.  She was immediately suspicious and refused to let him in, but at around the same time, an 86-year-old Ockbrook man was approached by man asking to check the water supply but, again, the homeowner didn’t let him in.

PC Daniel Goodman is from Operation Vigilance, a specialist team which investigates burglaries and robberies. He said: “We’re asking people to be on their guard and report anyone suspicious to us. Genuine utility company workers will all have identification cards and will be happy to wait outside while you call their employers to make sure they are who they claim to be.

“If you have elderly relatives, talk to them about home security and consider fitting a door chain for them to keep unwanted callers out.

“If you or someone you know have been targeted by distraction burglars recently, please report it to us. We are investigating whether these crimes and linked and I would ask anyone with information to call me."

Witnesses or anyone with information should call PC Goodman on 101.  Alternatively, send him a message online by visiting  You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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