Appeal: Police Issue Coronavirus Distraction Burglary Warning, Dewsbury
Tuesday 28 April, 2020
Kirklees Police and Kirklees Council are urging residents in Dewsbury to be on their guard after two women tricked their way into victim’s homes by claiming they had a Coronavirus vaccine.
Kirklees District CID are investigating the attempted distraction burglary which took place on Monday morning (27 April) at a house on Overthorpe Avenue, Dewsbury.
It is thought to have been an isolated incident and once inside the property, at no point did the suspects produce any kind of medication or try and examine occupants.
The incident took place at about 9am after two women, described as Eastern European, knocked on the rear door of the occupant’s home and said they had been sent from the local council to give a Coronavirus vaccine.
The householders let them in but quickly became suspicious of the women’s behaviour and asked to see ID.
At that point the women said they would go to their car and get it. They then left the house and did not return.
One of the suspects was described as being in her 20s, less than 5ft tall, slim and very petite with dark hair tied back.
The other was in her 40s, about 5ft tall and of a large build with blonde hair which hung down to her neckline.
DS Pete Usher of Kirklees CID, said: “We are investigating this incident which we are treating as an attempted distraction burglary as the suspects did attempt to look around the victims home, but were prevented from doing so by the occupants who followed them around.
“While we have not had any other reports of this type of scam we are urging residents to be vigilant and contact the police if anyone else knocks at their door and asks for entry in similar circumstances.
“We always advise residents to ask to see ID from anyone from an official body who asks to come into their home and persons such as NHS, local authority or police staff will carry photo ID with them.”
He added: “I’d ask anyone who saw these women arrive at the property, leave it, or who has any information about the offence at all to contact Kirklees CID on 101 referencing crime number 13200209643
Information can also be given online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat or anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Cllr Cathy Scott, Cabinet Member for Communities and voluntary sector capacity (North Kirklees), said: “Unfortunately some individuals are using the current climate to exploit our communities either on the doorstep, online or over the phone. I would urge all residents who may encounter someone on the doorstep to always check an individual’s identification, a genuine person will not mind. If the individual produces an identification and you still feel unsure, then you should ring the organisation they claim to be from to confirm the validity of the individual. It is important to remember that doorstep scammers aren’t always pushy and persuasive, they may seem polite and friendly.
“Please stay vigilant and remind any vulnerable neighbours not to invite people into their homes or provide financial details on the doorstep, online or over the phone.”