Avon and Somerset Police are asking residents across Bath to remain vigilant following a number of recent incidents involving rogue traders.
There have been two recent instances in Bath, at properties at Cranwells Park and Caledonian Road.
On both occasions, elderly homeowners have been targeted and approached by unknown men offering to do work on their properties for cash.
In one of the instances, the suspect offered to clean an elderly man’s gutters before claiming his wall was falling down and agreed to repair it for £2,500.
However, following knocking down the wall, the suspect increased the price to £10,500 which the victim paid.
In another incident, an elderly woman is believed to have been taken advantage of by a roofer who has charged her an excessive amount of money for the work completed.
In light of these recent incidents, officers are encouraging local residents to remain alert to rogue traders and look out for any elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
Take note of the following crime prevention advice, particularly regarding rogue traders and distraction burglaries:
- Never open the door to an unexpected caller until you’ve checked their identification – use a door chain or viewer, intercom or a ‘smart’ doorbell. Genuine callers expect it.
- If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.
- If you are suspicious of a caller tell us straight away – ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101.
- Store any high-value items such as jewellery, passports and cash in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault.
- Keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room.
- If you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away.
- Ask a trusted neighbour to help you deal with unexpected callers.
- Look out for vulnerable and elderly neighbours.
- Join Neighbourhood Watch.
If you have any information which could help the ongoing inquiry, call Avon and Somerset Police on 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5220044191.