Would-be Thief Poses As Council Workman

Distraction burglary foiled with one press of a panic button

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At approximately midday on 12th April, a 68 year old man was sitting in his living room when his doorbell rang twice. He opened the door to his South Black Lion Lane home on the chain, to be confronted by a suspect who told him he was from the council and had to look at the taps in the premises and stated that he had identification with him although this was not produced.

The victim let the man into the flat and pointed out where the bathroom was. However, when the suspect attempted to enter a bedroom, the victim became suspicious. He asked the suspect to confirm again who is was and exactly what he had come to do, to which he apparently reiterated that he was from the Council, inspecting and working on taps inside the premises.

The suspect then asked for a screwdriver and made his way into the main bedroom and opened a drawer, taking out and holding up a piece of correspondence from inside. The victim asked what the suspect wanted a screwdriver for, to which he replied "Any size of screwdriver will do".

Now highly suspicious of the suspect’s actions, the victim activated his neck-worn panic alarm, which alerts his neighbour, who attended within a minute.

Upon seeing the neighbour and being challenged by him the suspect made his excuses and swiftly left the flat, saying words to the effect of "Maybe I've got the wrong flat. Maybe the people I came to see have gone" and left rapidly.

The victim examined his afterwards the event and believes that no property was taken.

The suspect is described as a black male of athletic build, 6ft 1in tall, approx 25 years old, with short black hair. He was wearing a black and white horizontal striped long sleeved top, dark coloured trousers (possibly black or blue) and spoke with a deep voice.

Any witnesses or information should contact Hammersmith CID or Crime management unit at Fulham Police Station on 0208 246 2814

April 19, 2007