Bogus workmen target householders


POLICE in West Lothian are warning residents to be on their guard after a group of bogus workmen tried to scam householders.

Two separate incidents took place yesterday (Mon) in which three men approached homeowners claiming they were there to check the water pressure.

The first incident happened around 10.20am, when the men called at an address in Pentland Avenue, Bathgate.

As the first suspect distracted the 62-year-old householder his two accomplices searched the property, before they all left empty-handed.

The second incident took place around midday in Hillside Place, Blackridge, where three similar men called at the home of an 86-year-old woman.

The woman’s 66-year-old son answered the door and one of the men, who spoke with an Irish accent, showed what appeared to be an identification card, and said that he needed to check the water pressure.

As the suspect distracted the man, his two accomplices entered. All three fled empty handed after being disturbed.  Again, it is not thought that any property was stolen.

The first suspect is described as white, 19 to 20-years-old, medium build, 5ft 8ins tall, short brown hair, and wearing blue jeans and a dark coloured top.  He spoke with a northern English accent.

The other two men are described as white, 19 to 20-years-old, slim build, 5ft 8ins to 5ft 9ins tall, with brown hair, and both wearing light grey tops.

A police spokesman said: “We are appealing for any information that can help us identify the three suspects, and we would urge anyone who thinks they noticed these three men in either Bathgate or Blackridge yesterday to contact police.

“In the meantime, we are warning people to be on their guard against anyone who calls at their door claiming to be there to check their water supply, or to carry out any other type of unsolicited work.

“We would urge anyone who receives an unsolicited call at their property by any individual claiming to be employed by a company or organisation to ask for identification.

“If they are still not satisfied, then they should deny them access, and contact the organisation they claim to represent to verify their identity.

“Similarly, if anyone has any suspicions over the intentions of any cold caller, then they should contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.