Home ... Herne Bay ... Police hunt for distraction thieves after they target homes in Faversham, Whitstable, Canterbury, Ashford, Deal and Birchington

Police hunt for distraction thieves after they target homes in Faversham, Whitstable, Canterbury, Ashford, Deal and Birchington

Bogus callers have been targeting elderly residents across the county, tricking their way into their homes so they can steal from them.

CCTV has now been released of the two men who claim to be from the water-board, telling the victim there was a leak along the road and that they need to enter the property to turn off the stopcock.

While the victim is distracted, the second man rummages around the home looking for items to snatch.

CCTV released in hunt to find distraction thieves.

CCTV released in hunt to find distraction thieves.

Cash and a handbag has been reported missing after homes in Whitstable, Faversham, Birchington, Deal, Ashford, Wingham, St Margatet’s and Ash were targeted since Monday, March 23.

The latest incident happened just yesterday (Thursday) in Marine Parade, Whitstable and in York Terrace, Birchington.

Police have said they are linking all of the incidents and have now released CCTV images in a hunt to find the two men.

CCTV released in hunt to find distraction thieves.

CCTV released in hunt to find distraction thieves.

Sergeant Paul Gammon said: “Whilst most people who call at your home will be genuine, we are reminding people to be alert to bogus callers who may try to trick their way into your home and steal from you.”

 “Whilst most people who call at your home will be genuine, we are reminding people to be alert to bogus callers who may try to trick their way into your home and steal from you.”

“In these cases, the elderly are being targeted so we want to warn them and their families in particular.

“These men are very bold and confident but if someone calls at your home and you are not sure that they are genuine, close the door and call police for verification. None of our officers will mind if you do this.”

South East Water also sent out their own warning to their customers.

Customer Services Director Steve George said: “Sometimes our staff do have to make unplanned visits, but they will always be happy to wait while customers check their credentials and will always show their photographic ID cards before asking to be let in.

“Distraction burglary is a despicable crime committed on the most vulnerable and trusting people in our society. We want everyone to be safe in their homes so they should never let anyone in unless they are absolutely sure they are genuine.”

Police have offered this advice to residents:

DON’T open the door to strangers, but ask them to show you their ID through the letter slot or through the window.

DO use telephone numbers listed in the directory or written on your statements, rather than numbers provided by the visitor.

IF the caller doesn’t have ID, ask them to leave and call the police.

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