Distraction burglars pretending to be police officers to get into victim’s homes, east London detectives warn

Wembley man charged with raping a woman in Stonebridge. Picture: Met Police

Wembley man charged with raping a woman in Stonebridge. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

Burglars are posing as police officers to trick their way into people’s homes, detectives in east London have warned.

Police are urging people to be vigilant about who they let in to their property after recent incidents of people being burgled by someone they believed to be a police officer.

Distraction burglars such as these usually give a fake reason for needing to check the victim’s home and steal valuable items once inside.

The victim would only realise something was stolen after the burglar had left.

Detective Inspector Daniel Thompson, from the north east basic command unit, said distraction burglars often target the elderly and vulnerable.

“Distraction burglars pose as someone with fake ID, or a uniform, to gain your trust and access your home under a false pretence to steal,” he said.

“They could say they need to check your meters, fix plumbing leaks, or virtually any official reason to enter your home – including posing as a police officer.”

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People are advised to check who is at the door through a window or spyhole or by using the door chain where possible, and always ask for an ID badge or paperwork before letting someone in.

If in doubt, call the official number for the company they say they are from to check – do not call a number they give you - or contact the police.

If someone says they are a police officer, you should ask to see their warrant card and ask for their name and warrant number.

You can call police on 101 to clarify if you are still in doubt.

“Any genuine police officer would not mind you doing this, and would in fact encourage it,” Det Insp Thompson added.

Call 999 or 101 if you suspect a crime.