Fears bogus callers behind council clothing theft

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Police urged Edinburgh residents to be wary

STOLEN council worker’s uniforms could be used by bogus callers, police fear.

Residents in Edinburgh are being urged to be wary after thieves broke into the Seafield Road Recycling plant.

Clothing bearing City of Edinburgh Counci llogo was taken from a store room sometime between 4.30am and 5.30am on Sunday.

The thieves made off with black fleece jackets, black trousers, workman’s boots and high-visibility vests.

Lothian and Borders Police are worried the uniforms will be used to add legitimacy in attempts to get into people’s homes.

It follows a number of scams in the area where fraudsters have pretended to be council officials.

Council chiefs are now warning residents to check for identification before they let anyone in.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, the city’s environment leader, said: “The council requires all our staff to wear proper identification and people must check this before revealing sensitive information or allowing anyone into their home.

“We will work closely with the police to help retrieve the stolen uniforms and would ask the public to remain especially vigilant whilst the investigation is ongoing.”

A police spokeswoman added: “We would encourage everyone to take the time to call the council and check the identity of any unexpected workman at the door – genuine workers will be happy for you to do this, whereas in many cases this will be enough to deter criminals.”

Scammers often pretend to be from official bodies in order to get inside houses.

On Tuesday, a 35-year-old man appeared atEdinburgh Sheriff Courtafter allegedly tricking his way into a home in Newtongrange, Midlothian by pretending to be clearing leaves for the council.

In October, an elderly couple  had hundreds of pounds stolen from their North Berwick home after allowing a man claiming to be from East Lothian Council into their home to check water pressure.

Only days later, a 75-year-old Mussleburgh woman had thousands of pounds stolen by a bogus workman and his accomplice.

 

 

Anyone with information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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