24th Sep, 2018

CCTV footage released of wanted 'distraction burglar' who claims to be a police officer to force entry

POLICE have released CCTV footage of a man they want to speak to following a spate of distraction burglaries where the offender has claimed to be a police officer.

Described as white, around 6ft tall and of a heavy build, the man is believed to have been travelling across the West Midlands duping the elderly into letting him in their homes.

Detectives are linking 13 burglaries that have happened since March, five in Coventry four in Sandwell and four in Birmingham.

The thief has been knocking on doors claiming that he is a police officer and needs to gain entry to the house.

Once inside he has searched the property and stole cash, jewellery and credit cards.

It is also believed that he has an accomplice who acts as his lookout and the two men have driven away in a car similar to a silver Rover 45 or 400.

CCTV footage has been released from a burglary that happened on Wake Green Road in Birmingham on March 28 which shows the suspect and the offending vehicle.

DC Tom Lyons, from the force’s CID, said: “The worrying thing is that the man appears to have some kind of fake identification with him.

“The victims say that he is very convincing and on nearly all occasions he claims that he is an under-cover officer and needs to use the house as a surveillance lookout.

“What is unusual is that the offences have happened across the West Midlands and not in one specific area.

“We need people to come forward if they have any information so that we can put a stop to his crimes.

“This is a cowardly crime where he is targeting vulnerable people and he is impersonating a police officer.

“We would advise people to be vigilant when they have callers at the door.

“Do not open the door until a police officers identity has been confirmed, if the officer is genuine they will happily wait for you to confirm their identity.

“If they are not who they say they are it will also alert us and allow us to send officers out straight away to catch these unscrupulous thieves.”

Anyone with information is urged to call West Midlands Police on 101.

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