A pair of would-be distraction burglars claimed to be checking for damp at an elderly Ilkeston man’s house but left empty-handed after he followed them around.
The offenders visited the 76-year-old’s house in Cotmanhay Road at about 4pm on Monday, September 8.
They claimed to have been carrying out work at a nearby property and said they needed to check his house for signs of damp.
They then entered the house and walked around, during which one of the men tried to distract the homeowner. However, the victim followed them around and they left empty-handed a short time later.
One of the offenders was white, aged between 20 and 25, with a thin face and build, and dark, closely cropped hair. He wore a dark blue coat, black tracksuit bottoms and carried a small torch.
The second was white, about 6ft, aged between 20 and 25, of muscly build, and wore a dark tracksuit and a baseball cap.
Police want to hear from anyone who may have had similar visits or might have spotted the offenders in the area.
The incident has prompted police to reissue safety advice to help people protect themselves from distraction burglars.
Crime prevention tips include:
. Consider installing a door chain and make sure you keep your home secure.
. Do not open your door to anyone who calls without warning, no matter what excuses they give. Genuine callers will not call unannounced – they will arrange an appointment or give written notice about work taking place.
. Check the identification of any callers and, if they claim to represent a company or utility, call that company and check if they have cold callers in the area.
. Do not be tempted to leave your house with a caller, even if it is just for a minute and into your garden.
If a cold caller is persistent or makes you feel concerned or uncomfortable, call police immediately.
Anyone with information on the attempted distraction burglary should call Derbyshire police on 101, quoting crime reference 37917/14.
You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.