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Police warning after distraction burglars posing as Trading Standards representatives trick their way into St Mary's Bay home

By Victoria Chessum

A box of cash was snatched from a man's home when distraction burglars tricked their way inside.

The incident happened yesterday (Thursday, July 7) in Cedar Crescent, St Mary's Bay, between 1.10pm and 1.20pm.

It is claimed the men posed as Trading Standards representatives who were discussing the installation of CCTV cameras.

A general shot of Cedar Crescent in St Mary's Bay. Picture: Google

A police warning has since been released asking residents to be vigilant.

Det Cons Dennis Webster said: "They appeared to be legitimate and one even had a red identity badge with his photo on.

"The occupant was reluctant to let them in the front door so told them to go around to the back of the flat.

"One of the men did and the discussion about CCTV continued.

'It wasn’t until the man left that the occupant discovered his bedroom had been searched and a box of cash had been stolen.' - Det Cons Dennis Webster

"It wasn’t until the man left that the occupant discovered his bedroom had been searched and a box of cash had been stolen."

The first man is described as white, clean-shaven, about 6ft 1, aged between 40 and 45 with short, dark brown, straight hair.

He was wearing a black jacket, jeans and green canvas trainer-type boots and spoke with an Irish accent.

The second man is described as white, clean-shaven, about 5ft 6 with black, straight, collar-length hair.

He was wearing a black waterproof jacket, jeans and black shoes.

Police have been criticised

Det Webster said: "The block of flats has a communal entrance and exit system that should have been locked.

"We would like to hear from anyone else in the flats who received a call from the two men, or who saw them in the area on Thursday afternoon.

"We are also keen to hear from anyone who saw two men matching the descriptions getting into a vehicle in a neighbouring street."

He appealed for residents to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives.

Det Webster said: "Distraction burglars rely on the fact that people let them in without checking their credentials.

"We urge everyone to always check the identity of anyone knocking at their door, even if they appear to be carrying some form of identity, as was the case here.

"Phone the company or organisation they claim to represent and confirm they are legitimate.

"Genuine callers won’t mind.

"If you are in any doubt ask them to come back at a time when you have a chance to have someone with you," he said.

Other tips released by the police include:

  • Ensuring rear doors and windows are shut and locked when answering your front door
  • Considering fitting extra security measures such as spy holes, door chains, door locks and intruder alarms
  • Always checking the ID of cold callers - a door chain or spy hole will help you do this without letting anyone into your home. Don’t be afraid to turn people away

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to phone Kent Police on 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 55511 quoting reference number ZY/22825/16.

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