Detectives have issued an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to after an incident in Bootle in which a man posing as a police officer stole a quantity of cash.
At approximately 3pm on Friday 15 July the owner of a house on Litherland Road returned home and found items missing from the property including cash, a credit card and jewellery. The incident was not reported to Merseyside Police.
At approximately 2pm the following day (Saturday) a man approached the house and told the occupier that he was a police officer and had apprehended two men for the burglary and gave him a black rucksack which he claimed to have recovered. He asked to be shown round the property. When he left the occupier realised that quantity of cash had been taken.
The male is described as white, approximately 40 years of age, 5ft 9in tall of slim build, with grey receding hair. He had red marks on the bridge of his nose and under his left eye. He was described as smartly dressed wearing a black weatherproof jacket with the word ‘Police’ embroidered on it.
House to house enquiries are being carried out and CCTV opportunities are being explored. Detective Sergeant Jason Ennis said: "I would like to reassure people that incidents like these are comparatively rare. "Offenders are usually very plausible and can pose as a range of officials, not just police officers. However, any genuine official would carry identification so always ask for this to be produced before allowing them to enter your home. "By posing as police officers they are trying to gain the resident’s trust or dissuade them from asking too many searching questions. "I would urge everyone in the area to be mindful of this issue and to not only be vigilant when answering their own doors to cold callers but also to look out for their neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable in some other way. "People should never feel uncomfortable or awkward about using their door chain first and then asking the caller to wait outside while they ether call the company they say they are from or verify their identity in some other way. "Our advice will always be that if you have any doubts at all that someone is not who they say they are, do not open the door to them, ask them to wait outside or even leave and call a friend or relative or the police for advice." Merseyside Police is also issuing the following crime prevention advice in relation to people who call at your door, including any people posing as officials. Taking these simple steps could prevent you, or your family, becoming victims:
Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door
Always ask to see the identification of the person calling
If you are in any doubt about the identification shown, phone the company they claim to represent and check - don’t use the phone number they give you, look in the phone book for it
Ask the person to wait outside while you check and never leave your front door open while you do so
If the caller claims to be from an electricity, gas or water company, ask them to quote your customer reference number. A genuine caller from these utility companies will have that information
If the caller claims to be from the police he/she should have a warrant card and this can be checked by calling Merseyside Police on 101
If the caller leaves and you are still unsure about their credibility, write down the details of the person and the registration number and type and colour of vehicle if you know it and contact us on 101
For extra security and peace of mind, fit a viewer or spy hole and a strong chain to your door
Anyone with information about this incident can call detectives in Sefton CID on 0151 777 3841 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.