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Suitcases searched in latest bogus water caller incident in Co Armagh

Detectives in Craigavon are warning residents to be vigilant of bogus callers following a distraction burglary yesterday, Tuesday, August 26.

Around 1.30pm a man claiming to be from NI  Water called to a house in Garrymore. He was wearing blue trousers and a blue shirt and appeared to be plausible.

He explained that water in the area had been contaminated due to digging and that the Water Board were checking water supply at houses in the area. The man came into the house and poured a glass of water at the kitchen sink. He claimed that the water was contaminated and said he would turn the stopcock off for five minutes. 

The man tinkered about under the sink and asked the resident if they lived alone. When he was informed of another resident upstairs, the man suggested that they be brought down to see how the stopcock works. This was declined and the man poured a further glass of water and left the house, saying the water was fine.

It was later determined that the second resident had observed a male upstairs in the home during this time and some bags and suitcases were found to be disturbed.

It is not believed that anything was taken.

Police are appealing for information in relation to this incident and can be contacted on the 101 non-emergency number.

Police are also reminding residents to protect themselves against bogus callers.

PSNI Crime Prevention Officer, Michelle Wilson explained: “Bogus callers depend on the good nature and good will of others. They tend to target the more vulnerable members of our society and, in particular, older members of our community.

“It is always advisable to be cautious of unexpected callers. Everyone should follow  this advice when dealing with unexpected visitors.

“Before answering your door, ensure your back door is locked.

“Think before you open the door – use  your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them. 

“If you have any doubts about anyone calling to your door don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or  neighbour to be present on their return.

“Ask callers for proof of identity and telephone Quick Check on 0800 013 22 90 and the person on the other end will check the caller at your door is legitimate. The service is free and operates 24 hours a day. Genuine callers will not mind waiting until you have checked that they are who they say they are. “

Be aware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house – they may have an accomplice who is waiting to act upon this distraction.

“Neighbours can also play a part in helping protect the more vulnerable in their community. Residents should try to look out for one another and report ALL suspicious activity to the police immediately. The non-emergency police number is 101. In an emergency dial 999.”

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