Two men gained entry into a 90-year-old’s Saltcoats home yesterday (April 27) under the guise of investigating a burst water pipe.

The incident happened in The Braes with police called to investigate.

It comes as officers in North Ayrshire encourage residents to remain vigilant and to look out for potentially vulnerable neighbours following a rise in reports of suspicious activity and doorstep callers in the area.

PC Johnson, safer communities officer in North Ayrshire, said: “In the last week we have attended a number of incidents of doorstep callers and suspicious activity, the most recent occurring yesterday when two men gained entry to an address in Saltcoats under the guise of investigating a burst water pipe.

“Today we are encouraging everyone to remain vigilant and not to deal with uninvited callers at your home offering to sell goods or services. From bogus callers to rogue traders, doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and often very convincing. Anyone can be fooled as these people are professional con artists. However, the over 60s are often specifically targeted.”

“We are asking everyone to follow our doorstep safety advice, to look out for neighbours, pass the information to family and friends and to report anything that appears suspicious.”

To protect yourself from doorstep crime police are encouraging residents to:

  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
  • Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful.
  • Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.

Suspicious activity and criminality should be reported immediately to Police Scotland by calling 101 (in an emergency always dial 999).