Bogus officials steal cash from pensioners
2:38pm Friday 6th December 2013 in North West
BOGUS officials stole cash from elderly women in two separate incidents on the same day.
An 82-year-old woman unwittingly handed over £20 to a man who claimed to be doing some work in the area and asked to check her water pressure.
The man told her to check the taps upstairs and while she did this he searched the other rooms.
On his return he offered her compensation and requested money so he could give her some change. He took £20 from her and said he would get a receipt before leaving the house. He did not return.
He had approached the back of the victim’s house on Church Street in Golborne on Wednesday, December 4, between 2.30pm and 2.50pm.
The victim described him as a white man, in his mid-20s, of medium build with medium length hair and possibly a Liverpool accent.
Later the same day between 4pm and 4.45pm, two men knocked on the back door of a house on Leigh Road in Hindley after nobody answered the front door.
They introduced themselves to the 77-year-old woman who answered as water board officials and asked to check her water.
The victim let them in and while she stayed in the kitchen with one of the men, the other went into the living room and stole cash from her purse before both men left through the back door and said they would return in 20 minutes.
The first offender is described as a white man and about five foot five inches tall. He was wearing a beige anorak and spoke with an Irish accent.
The second is described as a white man in his 30s. He had dark hair which was swept back and was wearing a navy jumper with a pattern around the neck and also spoke with an Irish accent.
Police Constable Linda Howcroft from Leigh police station said: “This type of crime is always made worse when an offender deliberately targets older and more vulnerable members of the community.
"The victims have been left very upset following the incidents. If anyone saw men matching these descriptions in or around the area when the incidents took place, then please get in touch with us.
“It is important to be cautious when opening the door and a number of simple steps can help you avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime.
“Stop and think before you open the door. If possible, look out of the window or use a door viewer to check whether you know the caller.
“Ask to see an identification card and check it carefully. If you have not got a door bar or chain, ask the caller to push their identity card through the letterbox and check the photograph corresponds to the caller.”
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 7964 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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