Police have urged the public not to open their door to strangers after a man pretending to work for a utilities company barged into a Paphos apartment and assaulted a young woman who managed to flee. Last week, a 31 year old woman was assaulted and robbed in her Paphos home.
The latest incident occurred on Tuesday night. The Cyprus News Agency said that a woman, an Indian national, had reported to police that a man had knocked on her door saying he was there to restore the electricity and water supply.
She said he appeared a few minutes after supply of both had been interrupted, but that as soon as he was in the apartment he grabbed a glass from the sink and threatened her. The 22 year old started to scream and managed to run to her neighbours, but the man had fled by the time they went to check.
The woman was taken to Paphos Hospital where she was found to have abrasions on her hands and right foot. Police are looking for the perpetrator who is described of slight build, 1.75 to 1.80 metres tall, aged 25-30, dark with short, black curly hair and a light beard.
In an announcement, police said that in the past few days there were have been two incidents against unsuspecting members of the public where perpertrators have managed under different guises to gain access into people’s homes.
“In both cases the perpertrators immobilised the residents and in one case managed to steal The public is urged to be particularly careful because perpetrators use different excuses to gain access into a house,” it added.
Useful advice from police:
- do not open the door without making sure you know the visitors. Check who is at the door first
- install a security chain at the door
- if you live in an apartment building, make sure the main entrance is closed. Take care with your apartment door and install a safety lock
- do not give keys to cleaners or others
- do not leave a second key under the mat or in flower pots
- do not leave the key in the lock, either outside or inside the house
- for additional safety , install safety locks on outside doors and safety systems at the windows
- close the shutters and curtains so thieves cannot see what is inside the house
- make sure the exterior is well lit. Sensors can be used to economise on electricity
The public is urged to contact police on 199 or the citizen’s help line on 1460 if they see anything suspicious.