RESIDENTS should look out for bogus ''water board' officials who have been tricking their way into people's homes and stealing from them.

Bromley police have issued a warning following a spate of such incidents across the boroughs of Bromley and Croydon.

The burglars pose as officials and dress in high visibility jackets, approaching residents as they return home.

They state there is a leak in the road or neighbouring property and that they need to access the property in order to turn the water off.

They say if they are not let in to check the water supply, the victim will be responsible for any damages.

Detective Inspector Mel Clare from Bromley police said: "Pretending to be from a utility like ‘the water board’ or ‘the gas company’ is the most common technique that these thieves use to trick their way into people's homes. We really need to get the message home to people that they should never let anyone into their homes without being shown the correct identification.

"I would also ask people to keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours and if you see anything suspicious or if you have had a dubious caller at your door, please report it to the police immediately."

Residents are reminded that, if in doubt, it is their right to turn cold callers away.