I have just had the following news release drawn to my attention by a good friend of the blog – it was posted to day by Police Partnerships Officer Kevin Pitt, and concerns bogus callers who are operating both in Brownhills and the wider area demanding payment for rat control or fence repairs.
Please remind your neighbours – particularly those who are vulnerable or elderly – not to open their door to strangers or unexpected visitors as yesterday (Tuesday 8 December) three possibly related bogus caller crimes were reported in various parts of the borough.
At around 12.45pm in Brownhills, the 67 year-old victim opened his front door to a male who walked in uninvited, stating he had been sent to repair the fence. After making a brief search of the property he left empty handed. The man is described as being white, around 6′ tall, of stocky build, with brown hair and he spoke with an Irish accent. He was wearing grey sports wear.
Two bogus rat catchers have also been reported to the police. At around 9am in Park Farm Road, Pheasey, a male stating that he had come to repair the fence and sort out a rat problem was allowed into the home of an elderly resident. He asked for £220 to sort out the rat problem but left empty handed as the victim did not have any cash in the house. Unsurprisingly he refused a cheque! The man is described as white, of medium build, aged around 35 to 39 years and spoke with an English accent.
Later, at around 11am, a man called at a house in Darlaston again stating that the fence needed repairing and there were rats in the garden. On being told there was a cost for putting down poison the resident asked the man to leave, which he did, empty handed. It is possible an accomplice was waiting outside in a black car.
Other bogus rat catchers have been reported to Walsall Trading Standards in the Streetly area.
Anyone who has information about these crimes is asked to contact the police by dialling 101. There are most likely other, unreported victims out there and we would urge anyone who has been visited by these men to contact us.
You can get more detailed advice on how to deal with bogus callers by visiting the West Midlands Police Safer Homes website here.
If you’re on Facebook you can also get advice and keep up to date with the latest developments by visiting Kevin Pitt’s page here.
Do not use Facebook to report crime.
Please tell your relatives and neighbours about these ratbags, and impress upon them how important it is not to buy from, or accept services at the door, no matter how plausible the people offering them. Genuine companies will always contact you by other means.
Explain that no official body will turn up unannounced demanding money for services like drain cleaning, tree pruning etc., and that if they are at all unsure of any caller, to close the door and contact the police.
For more information on the signs that give away rogue traders, read Community Partnerships Officer Kevin Pitt’s blogpost – Making Walsall Too Hot for the Bogus Callers.
Scumbags engaged in the robbing of OAPs are lower than a snake’s knees, and I hope the police continue to crack down on this cowardly, nasty crime.
Please, if you have any further information relating to this, or any other incident, or if you witnessed something please contact Walsall Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111