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Concern over growing number of bogus locksmith stickers
The public is being warned after stickers which are thought to be used by burglary gangs to mark vulnerable homes begun to appear in Redbridge.
The stickers, which advertise a 24-hour locksmiths and a telephone number which does not work, have been widely reported across London, including in neighbouring Waltham Forest.
And now they have been spotted in Aldersbrook and Wanstead, prompting police and the council to raise awareness as they believe the stickers are used to mark a property as empty during the day.
Aldersbrook Neighbourhood Watch (ANW) has delivered leaflets to more than 600 houses to warn people of the potential danger.
Chairman Dave Satchell said: “Police have advised us this is a scam so we have been doing all we can to help vulnerable residents in the area and have been leafleting all this week.
“Burglaries are up at the moment but they always tend to be at this time of year so it is hard to tell if this is related.
“There have been reported burglaries lately on Dover Road, Wanstead Park Avenue and Northumberland Avenue, so we have just been making as many people aware as we can and urging people to remove the stickers if they find one.”
Michael Sumsion, of Herongate Road, Wanstead, found a sticker on his property, as did four neighbours.
He said: “It transpired that a few other roads have had these stickers but I have yet to hear of any burglaries since the stickers started.
“I’ve spoken to police and they couldn’t do anything other than tell me that they’ve had lots of calls about this.
“There is also a theory that it is kids messing about, but I’m not so sure.”
Redbridge Trading Standards is urging residents to check their own doors and as well as doors of any vulnerable neighbours.
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