Operation Access

Two Kinmel Bay sisters who became victims of a distraction burglary in December have shared their experience of how they suddenly found three men in their bungalow.   

The men had entered the property by smashing a bedroom window while the sisters, who do not wish to be identified, were clearing up after tea. As one of the women went into her room she was startled by the silhouette of a man. He was looking through her handbag and wallet that were on her bed.

“I asked him who he was and what he was doing, but he didn’t reply. He touched me on the back of my head and said words to the effect of ‘It’s alright.”

However, taking the initiative she walked him into the kitchen only to be met by another man who was telling her sister that he was there to check the taps.

On becoming suspicious the second sister went through to the hallway, and on approaching her bedroom she saw a third man pulling items out of the bookcase. She immediately got hold of him and ushered him out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, with the other men.

“They didn’t bat an eyelid when I said was calling the police and they all left via the back door.”

Later the women discovered the men had stolen cash and jewellery.

“We were not afraid at the time as we did not realise what was going on. We were either brave or foolish! Even though we disturbed them we keep thinking we could have done a lot more.”

Admitting the incident has left them nervous at night; they are advising everyone to ensure their curtains are drawn and to look out for vulnerable neighbours.

(PCSO Fran Long working  with Barry Jackson of  Denbighshire County Council Trading Standards, out and about on the their Rogue Traders patrols)

“It is a horrible thinking that they were standing in our garden watching us. It makes us cross to think that we have worked all our lives to get the odd thing that we wanted, and then someone just comes in to take it.”

In a bid to target cold callers and rogue traders, officers from Denbighshire and Conwy are working with Trading Standards as part of an ongoing operation.

Operation Access is as a result of a spate of distraction burglaries which have happened between December 2017 and February, where the offenders have targeted vulnerable elderly people, claiming to be from the council, utilities or the emergency services.

Temporary Inspector Sophie Chance said: “The effect of a burglary on any person, but especially those who are elderly, cannot be overstated. During this recent spate, officers are hearing harrowing accounts from victims like the sisters, who have been confronted by strangers entering their homes.

“Across the area, these victims are relatives, friends and neighbours in our community and as such I would ask anyone with information to speak to us. We want to protect others being targeted and suffering the same distress.”

“Over recent weeks we have increased patrols in the areas, worked with partners and asked the public to support us in reporting suspicious vehicles and cold callers. We are grateful for the assistance so far and would request that this is continued”.

How to beat the bogus caller:

  • LOCK: Keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home.
  • STOP: Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Look through the spyhole or window to see who it is.
  • CHAIN: If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or bar on first. Keep the bar or chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.
  • CHECK: Check their details before you let them into your house.
  • If there is any doubt about the caller, call the Police.