Police are warning homeowners in the East Riding to be on their guard after a man posing as a British Gas Engineer gained access to a rented house and stole from the occupant.
In a statement released, Humberside Police said;
“The first happened at around 8am today (Tuesday, January 5) in Queen Street, Withernsea, when a man in a blue boiler suit claimed he had been called to service the boiler at a rented property.”
“After heading upstairs to start work, the man was seen leaving a bedroom. He then left the house and did not return. Cash was later found to be missing.”
“The suspect is described as white, around 5ft 3in tall, of stocky or chunky build, with shaved, dark hair that was starting to grow back. He carried a yellow and black tool box.”
“A similar incident was later reported in Bridlington, when a man claiming he had been called to change a gas meter attended an address in St John Street at around 2PM.”
“He was challenged by the occupants and left the scene. On this occasion, the suspect was described as white, in his late 40s, of chubby build, balding with some dark hair.”
Detective Sergeant Ton Napier, who is leading the investigation, said officers had not ruled out the possibility the two incidents were linked.
Police offer tips on how to deal with bogus callers
He also offered advice on how to protect yourself from bogus callers.
DS Napier said:
“I would encourage anyone to check the identification of any doorstep caller and to verify it, leaving the caller outside, with the door closed and locked, whilst doing so.”
“If someone is genuine they will not mind being checked.”
“Genuine appointments of this kind are likely to have been pre-arranged, so there is every reason to be suspicious if someone turns up out of the blue.”
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call 101, quoting crime reference number 2161441 in relation to the Withernsea incident and log 286 of January 5 for the Bridlington incident.