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Warning issued after two homes targeted in attempted distraction burglaries in 20 minutes

Members of the public are being urged to remain vigilant following two attempted distraction burglaries in the Rhos area of Wrexham.

The two homes were targeted by the bogus traders within 20 minutes of each other on Tuesday 21st November.

Police say the first incident took place about 5.55pm at an address on Jones Street, where a man entered the house uninvited claiming to be from the Water Board

He was asked to leave and did so after about 10 minutes when homeowner called her daughter.

The man is described as white, 6ft tall, of slim build with short dark hair. He was in his late 30’s and wearing a navy fleece jacket and black trousers.

Just 20 minutes later a second incident happened around 6.15pm in Afon yr Rhos, whereby a man knocked on the door of an elderly woman, stating he needed to check her cold water tap as there’s something in the water.

The victim took the male into the kitchen where he went under the sink to get to the stop tap. When the caller was told that a relative was on his way to the house he left.

He is described as around 30 with tanned skin. He is broad and approximately 5’6” tall. He was wearing a dark jacket with a florescent jacket over the top, dark trousers and a dark peaked cap.

Police are now reminding residents to remain vigilant.

Sergeant Laura Salisbury-Jones at Rhos Police Station said: “We are doing everything we can to tackle this particularly nasty crime aimed at some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Fortunately nothing was stolen in these incidents.

“Anyone with information should contact North Wales Police on 101 quoting RC17176350.”

Ceri Martin of Wrexham Trading Standards added; “Callers may tell you that there is a problem with the water in your area, or suggest you need roof repairs or gutter cleaning, fences repairing or that your garden needs work.

“Reputable businesses have little need to seek work by going door to door. The advice from Trading Standards is to politely but firmly say “No” to all offers of work no matter how urgent you are told that it is.

“If you are concerned that work may need doing, contact a reputable business or ask friends or family to help.

“For further advice call Citizens Advice 03454 040506 (040505 Welsh)”

The following three step plan and advice has been issued to the public:

ONE: If in doubt, keep them out. It sounds simple, but if you don’t let someone in – they will go away. Don’t let them pressure you into opening the door.

TWO: Be prepared. Be in control. Think about what to say to doorstep cold callers in advance. Keep a list of key contact numbers near your phone so you can check out legitimate callers. Ask all other unwanted callers to go away.

THREE: Call a neighbour or the police. Contact a local relative or nominated neighbour who can help verify a cold caller. If you think someone is a rogue trader call North Wales Police on 101. To report a distraction burglar or rogue trader who has taken your money and is still in the area – call 999.

If you do happen to get caught off guard and a cold caller does manage to get into your house, let us know about it as soon as possible. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and the sooner we know about it, the better chance we have of catching them and recovering your property.

Remember genuine callers will not mind waiting. It’s your home. You don’t have to let anyone in!

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