Merseyside Police are advising people across Merseyside to be vigilant after an incident in West Derby in which men posing as police officers stole a quantity of cash.
At about 8.30am on Friday 27th March, two men claiming to be police officers and carrying radios said they were from Merseyside Police and asked to be allowed into a house on Yewtree Close.
A woman in her 50s allowed the men entry to the house after they said they were making routine enquiries. They then searched the back garden and rooms upstairs. It was later discovered that a quantity of cash was missing.
House to house enquiries are being carried out and CCTV opportunities are being explored.
Detective Sergeant John Holden said: "I would like to reassure people that incidents like these are comparatively rare but when they do happen they can have a big effect on the victims.
"Offenders are usually very plausible and can pose as a range of officials, not just police officers. However, any genuine official would carry identification so always ask for this to be produced before allowing them to enter your home.
"By posing as police officers they are trying to gain the resident’s trust or dissuade them from asking too many searching questions. However in this case it has clearly been a con.
"Bogus callers are extremely callous individuals who will think nothing of stealing someone’s weekly pension, someone’s life savings, or treasured family jewellery, leaving their victim heartbroken at both the intrusion into their home and the loss of their belongings.
"I would urge everyone in the area to be mindful of this issue and to not only be vigilant when answering their own doors to cold callers but also to look out for their neighbours , particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable in some other way.
"People should never feel uncomfortable or awkward about using their door chain first and then asking the caller to wait outside while they ether call the company they say they are from or verify their identity in some other way.
"Our advice will always be that if you have any doubts at all that someone is not who they say they are, do not open the door to them, ask them to wait outside or even leave and call a friend or relative or the police for advice.”
Merseyside Police is also issuing the following crime prevention advice in relation to people who call at your door, including any people posing as officials. Taking these simple steps could prevent you, or your family, becoming victims:
• Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door
• Always ask to see the identification of the person calling
• If you are in any doubt about the identification shown, phone the company they claim to represent and check - don’t use the phone number they give you, look in the phone book for it
• Ask the person to wait outside while you check and never leave your front door open while you do so
• If the caller claims to be from an electricity, gas or water company, ask them to quote your customer reference number. A genuine caller from these utility companies will have that information
• If the caller claims to be from the police he/she should have a warrant card and this can be checked by calling Merseyside Police on 101
• If the caller leaves and you are still unsure about their credibility, write down the details of the person and the registration number and type and colour of vehicle if you know it and contact us on 101
• For extra security and peace of mind, fit a viewer or spy hole and a strong chain to your door
Anyone with information about this incident can call detectives in Liverpool North CID on 0151 777 4065 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.