People have been warned to be on their guard against distraction burglars after an incident in Kettering last week.
Three girls called at a property in Wood Street, Kettering, on Thursday, March 27, to ask if they could use the toilet.
Two of the girls then asked for a drink, leaving the third girl alone – and when the trio had departed, the victim realised his wallet was missing.
Police say two distraction burglaries also took place in Northampton on Saturday, March 29, in Kingsland Gardens and Simons Walk.
In Kingsland Gardens, two men called at a house saying they needed to check lights inside the house and cash was subsequently stolen. In Simons Walk, a man posed as a council worker to gain entry to the house and again cash was taken.
Laura Jones, deputy head of the joint police and fire prevention and community protection team, said: “Distraction burglars often have plausible reasons for why they need to get into the house but we urge people not to open their door unless they are expecting a visitor.
“Historically, we’ve tended to see an increase in doorstep crime in the spring and unfortunately the victims of distraction burglary are often elderly or vulnerable.
“We want to remind people to be vigilant and our main advice is always the same: if you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”
She has asked people to pass the message on to elderly relatives, friends and neighbours and keep a look out for anyone acting suspiciously in their neighbourhood.
Anyone who has concerns about someone knocking on their front door should call the Doorstep crime Action Network hotline on 0345 2307702 or 999 in an emergency.
Police have also issued crime prevention tips. They say people should who is at the door before answering it. Where possible, a spy-hole should be fitted. Alternatively, residents can talk to through an adjacent window.
Officers say residents should also not feel pressured into opening the door, should set up passwords with utility companies which genuine callers will be able to recite and should not use telephone numbers on ID cards in case the person calling is not genuine.
More information can be found by visiting Northamptonshire Police’s website.