Burnham-On-Sea police are urging people to be alert after distraction burglaries at three senior citizens’ homes on Monday afternoon (September 3rd).

Between 2.30pm and 4.40pm thieves tricked their way into homes in Donstan Road in Highbridge, and Stoddens Road and Berrow Road in Burnham-On-Sea, and searched for cash and valuables.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Ryan Edwards told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Thankfully nothing seems to have been stolen in two cases, with a building society book taken in the third.”

“We’ve carried out house-to-house enquiries, increased our patrols and issued an alert through Neighbourhood Watch. As part of our ongoing investigation we’re especially keen to trace these three men (pictured). If you have any information that could help, please call 101 quoting reference 5218197748.”

“This sort of doorstep crime remains rare. However it can be very distressing for vulnerable older people and we’re targeting our patrols in the area to provide reassurance.”

“All three householders affected are in their 80s. Please make your family or friends aware of these incidents and the simple steps to take to deter these criminals. If you see someone acting suspiciously at a neighbour’s property call us straight away. Ring 999 if a crime is being committed, otherwise call 101.”

Police say there are two main tactics used by distraction burglars – firstly, distracting a householder on the doorstep or in the garden, while an accomplice enters the house to steal. Secondly, claiming to be from a utility company needing to urgently check water supply or electrics to get into a house.

Sergeant Ryan Edwards’ doorstep crime prevention tips include:

• never open the door to an unexpected caller until you’ve checked their identification – use a door chain or viewer. 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
• keep your cash in the bank, not at home
• 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
• join Neighbourhood Watch
• nominate a neighbour to help you deal with unexpected callers