Thieves posing as police officers attacked a woman on her doorstep before forcing their way inside her home and stealing her puppy.
Two men wearing hats with the word ‘police’ on the front approached a woman outside her house just before 10am on Monday (29 November).
They claimed to be there to conduct a drug search.
When the victim challenged them, they forced her inside her home and assaulted her.
Thieves stole puppy, money and Christmas gifts
The men then searched the address and fled with a two-month-old female American XL bulldog puppy, which was described as ‘blue merle’.
The victim was also robbed of money and a bag containing Christmas gifts.
When the actual police arrived at the scene they found the victim, a woman in her 30s, covered in cuts and bruises from the shocking assault.
She was treated in hospital for her injuries before being discharged.
Detectives investigating the attack in Barnes, London, arrested two men, aged 34 and 53, on suspicion of aggravated burglary.
What to do if you’re uncertain a police officer is genuine
A Met Police spokesman said: “Unfortunately there have been occasions when fraudsters have posed as police officers, both in person and on the phone, to trick people into giving them personal information and defraud them of money.
“If you’re unsure about whether the person you’re dealing with is a genuine police officer - stop - and call us on 101 to check their identity and always call 999 in an emergency.
“If you’ve been on the phone to someone – who called you – but you have doubts about them, we recommend that you hang up and wait five minutes before you call us.
“There have been cases of fraudsters keeping the line open after a victim has hung up. Leaving several minutes between calls will make sure that the call has closed.”
Asking to see proof of identity is another step to keeping as safe as possible, as the spokesperson confirmed: “If one of our officers contacts you in person, they’ll show you their police warrant card. This is proof of their identity and authority.”
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