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Day: June 26, 2012

My experience of a distraction burglary…

I was watching Crimewatch Roadshow this morning and they had the case of Robert Kerr – a man who seemingly defrauded many people who has prayed upon many members of the clergy to use their good nature to get money. However he hasn’t just gone after members of the church and has defrauded many a person so it seems.

He always asks for/demands money claiming that there is an emergency that he has to get to but can’t afford it. If this man (photo below) has tried to get money from you then please get in touch with the police as he is wanted by twelve different forces across the country.

Robert James Kerr Crimewatch
Robert Kerr – Mugshot

So anyway my experience of an attempted crime similar to this. As some of you may know I am the son of a now retired Methodist superintendent. Anyway in 2005 I had moved in with my mum and her husband in the manse after university and one day I was sitting in the living room watching baseball when the doorbell went. I did nothing and there was a couple at the door. They came in and from what I recall they gave some sort of spiel about not being able to afford a train fare.

Anyway I’m not really paying too much attention to this but I do notice my mum put her handbag into the living room. They were in the house for an eon and I’m quietly watching the baseball but think it is pretty strange. However I do know that people often do go to the church as a last resort when they need money. Anyway it must have been a good half hour later I notice the door open and a hand pop through and go into my mum’s handbag. That isn’t normal I think to myself and I hear the man say that they are going.

I go over to my mum’s handbag and notice that her cash card isn’t in there. Now I don’t know if my mum had taken it out or what so I go out and show her. This has all happened within twenty seconds and the two perpetrators had already left. My mum opens the front door and yells for her cash card and they say they have no idea what she is talking about but the commotion had caused neighbours to open their doors and the guy takes it out of his sock and gives it back before they disappear.

I can’t remember if it was reported to the police or not but it just goes to show how these people work. They clearly didn’t know there was another person (me) in the house who happened to see a hand going into the handbag. Had I not been there I’m guessing my mum would’ve found out but probably not for ten minutes or so as she’d of had a drink and a fag before checking I suspect and by then they would have been long gone.

The distraction burglary is on the rise and the only thing you can do to stop it is ensure you don’t let anyone into your home unless you know them. There was a case on yesterday’s show of two people doing these crimes with one in a full policeman’s uniform with a fake warrant card. The way they in general work is one person keeps the occupier busy whilst the other person searches for what they want.

Remember any real police officer is more than happy to wait for you to confirm their identity by ringing the police station. People will say that there are many more important crimes out there (which is fair enough) but when people get scammed and defrauded in their own home it knocks their confidence. So people like Robert Kerr and the others I have mentioned need to be caught. Crime affects us all and it is another reason why we should always look out for our neighbours.

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