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26 March 2010, 09:25
There's a warning for people living in Margate after reports of two men pretending to be police officers.
In one case, they showed a man fake police badges and told him they had to check the security of his house.
When one pretended to check doors and windows another searched the rest of the house and stole money.
Officers have also been told that two men stormed into a property on Trinity Square, they told the woman living there that they were police officers and again searched the property.
That time they left with a handbag and several CD's.
The offenders are described as white men, between 30-50 years old with a local southern accent.
Offender 1 is described as around 6ft tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black flat cap and a brown cardigan and was said to be scruffy looking.
Offender 2 is described as around 6ft tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black waist length coat.
Detective Inspector Nick Greenan who leads the burglary team investigating these crimes wants people to take extra care to beat these criminals:
"These crimes are particularly unpleasant as they are preying on elderly and vulnerable members of our community. Burglars like this can use a number of different excuses to get into your home, from posing as bogus police officers or utility company officials, through to salesmen and people claiming to buy antiques or even people saying they have lost their ball in your garden.
"The golden rule remains the same in all these cases. Never let anyone into your house that you don't know or aren't expecting. Genuine visitors will be more than happy to provide identification and remain outside while you verify it with their company and the police.
"Our advice when answering the door to strangers is use a door chain or door bars and always ask for and check identification. Keep the caller outside on the doorstep with the door shut whilst you verify their identification. We would also encourage people to make sure their back door is locked when answering the front door as thieves often work in pairs with someone else entering your home while you are distracted by another person.
"If you are unsure whether someone is genuine, don't let them in. Ask them to come back another time or to get their company to arrange an appointment at a convenient time for you, when you can have a friend or neighbour present. Genuine callers will always be willing to re-arrange."