Residents in Sefton are being reminded not to let cold-callers into their homes following a distraction burglary in Formby.

A 90-year-old woman had keys to her car stolen after several men she didn’t know knocked at her door asking for a glass of water.

When she went inside to get them the drink, her car keys were taken and her car was driven away.

Three men were later arrested as a result of police enquiries and have since been charged with burglary and aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle. The woman’s car was also found.

Formby and Ainsdale neighbourhood inspector, Jim Atherton said residents could take some simple steps to avoid becoming the victim of a cold-calling crime.

He said: “The best way to stop all the issues with cold callers is to simply not answer the door to them. A cold-caller is anyone who you don’t know who calls at your door unannounced. They don’t always have to be selling something and there can be a variety of stories they will give you in order to get you to allow you in.

“The main thing to remember is that you don’t have to answer your door to them and it is not rude or impolite not to let them in.

“Genuine, legitimate callers will always make an appointment first and will always carry proper identification. They will not mind waiting outside while you look up their company and call to check who they are. And if you still have any doubts, ask them to come back another time when you can have a friend, neighbour or relative with you.

“Neighbours can also play a big part in helping protect the more elderly or vulnerable members of our community by keeping an eye out for them, making sure they are okay and reporting anything untoward or suspicious to the police.”

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