Leading local Garda Sgt Paul Wallace has warned that bogus maintenance men are calling to homes across Donegal casing them out for future burglaries.
He said the conmen were also using the opportunities to view what goods were on the property.
He said “We have received a number of reports through our text alert network of people/ traders calling to the homes of older people in the community in particular isolated areas offering goods and services i.e painting, hedge cutting, powerwashing.
“This can be common at this time of year going into spring when the weather hopefully is better and the evenings longer.
‘We would urge people not to engage the services of these people that are not local or known to them – these may be bogus callers intent on committing crime and people in the community are requested to be alert and check on elderly neighbours on a regular basis, and provide them with contact number to use if they require assistance’.
As part of Operation Thor which is combatting rural crime, Sgt Wallace said that people must safeguard their property adding ‘if you love it lock up and light up.’
Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Wallace also issued the following simple steps to help protect your home.
Whether at home or going out remember to turn on some lights.
Lock all doors and windows ( In Donegal over half of residential burglaries houses were accessed through unlocked rear doors)
If you have an alarm – Use it.
Store Keys away from Windows and Letterboxes.
Don’t keep large amounts of cash at home – Take steps to secure your jewellery.
If you have been a victim of crime – REPORT IT.
Residents should be in possession of the Garda 24/ 7 contact number which covers their area and also be aware that Divisional Communications at Letterkenny Garda Station 0n 074-91-67100 provides a 24 / 7 service for the County.
24 / 7 District Headquarters Stations:
Letterkenny : 074-91-67100
Remember 999/112 can also be used in an emergency.
The Good Morning Donegal Project provides a very important service to those living alone and people should be encouraged to register for it which can be done by contacting 074-93-21598.
Gardai in Donegal have issued Farm Security advice in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Association (I.F.A) and this advice is available on line at www.garda.ie / crime prevention tab /fact sheets on the following topics.
Callers at your door.
Intruder Alarm Advice.