Police in York have urged residents to be on their guard following the arrest of three suspected rogue traders.
Neighbourhood Policing Team officers were alerted to the Dunnington area at 8.17am on Monday (5 February 2018) after an elderly and vulnerable resident reported she had been pressured into purchasing a new front door by men claiming to be from a reputable home improvement company.
With support from the Roads Policing Group and the Road Crime Team, a white Mercedes Sprinter van was pulled over at 11.04am on the outskirts of York and the three suspects were arrested.
The three men are from Lancashire; two aged 47 and 46 from Bury, and the other aged 38 from Blackburn.
Following questioning in custody, they were released on conditional bail while police and trading standards officials carry out enquiries into this and other possible linked incidents in the area.
Witnesses or anybody who recalls similar suspicious behaviour, should call North Yorkshire Police on 101 as soon as possible. Information can also be passed onto Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting reference number 12180020756.
In the meantime, residents are advised to remain vigilant and not allow any cold-calling traders or people claiming to be from public organisations or utility companies into their homes.
Inspector Lee Pointon said: “Rogue traders are callous criminals who take advantage of householders by using high-pressure sales techniques. The work carried out is often sub-standard or not required at all.
“I have seen seen first-hand the devastating impact that such criminals can have on their victims, who are often elderly or vulnerable.
“To effectively tackle this issue, it is vital that there is increased awareness in neighbourhoods and for residents to quickly report suspicious individuals or vehicles to the police on 101 for non-emergencies. Remember, always dial 999 if you feel threatened and an urgent response is required.
“Ultimately, if someone calls at your home without a prior appointment, that’s when the crime-prevention alarm bells should be ringing in your ears. Whatever you do, please do not allow such people into your home. If they are from a genuine company or organisation, they will make an appointment and have proper accreditation.”
To help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime, follow these four simple crime prevention steps:
- Lock all doors – even when you are at home
- Stop before you open the door, ask the caller who they are
- Chain – always use a door chain or spy hole
- Check – Not sure who they are? Don’t open the door!
For more information and advice, please go to