Be on your guard – that’s the message from police after they arrested three suspected rogue traders in York.

Police were called to Dunnington at 8.17am on Monday (February 5) 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.

In an operation involving officers from a neighbourhood policing team, 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.

Three suspects were arrested. All are from Lancashire – two, aged 47 and 46, are from Bury, and the other, aged 38, is from Blackburn.

Investigating other incidents

Following questioning in custody, they were released on conditional bail.

Meanwhile police and trading standards officials are carrying out enquiries into this and other possible linked incidents in the area.

Witnesses or anybody who recalls similar suspicious behaviour, should contact North Yorkshire Police on the numbers below.

north-yorkshire-police-logo-25How to help the police

Call North Yorkshire Police on 101
Or call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
Quote 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.”

Reduce the risk

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 the bogus caller page on the police website