A MAN posing as a window cleaner has been tricking his way into homes in Sheffield to burgle them, police revealed today.
The man, who is being hunted by police, has struck in the Longley and Shirecliffe areas of Sheffield.
Police have not yet revealed how many homes have been targeted, or what has been stolen, but residents are being urged to step up their security.
Extra police patrols have been ordered in the suburbs where offences have been reported, in a bid to prevent further break-ins.
South Yorkshire Police today issued a reminder to people to always check the identity of strangers calling at their homes.
And instead of relying simply on identity cards callers might produce, the force wants people to call the firms and businesses for whom the callers claim to be working, to check that they really are genuine representatives.
Some organisations operate a password system to help residents identify genuine callers.
Inspector Simon Leake, of the Burngreave, Firth Park, Southey and Shiregreen and Brightside Police Teams, told The Star: “I can confirm we are investigating a report of burglaries in the Shirecliffe and Longley areas, where a person has purported to be a window cleaner to trick entry into people’s houses.
“I would ask everybody to ensure that they do not let anyone into their house unless they know them, or are convinced that they are who they say they are.
“Residents should demand to see their identification.
“If they are a professional from any of the services or legitimate businesses working in Sheffield, they will have identification on them – and they will not mind if a householder makes a phone call to the office to check the ID.
“If people are in any doubt, they should not let anyone into their house and they should call the police.”
In a plea to people with elderly or vulnerable relatives and friends, he added: “I would encourage you to speak to them about this, so they know what to do if approached by a bogus caller.
“I will increase the number of staff patrolling the area.”
Anyone with any information about the burglaries should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident 993 of September 9.