Bogus caller sparks a police warning

By Rob George 08/06 Updated: 08/06 11:31

DROITWICH residents are being urged to keep an eye on elderly neighbours after a bogus caller stole almost £200 from a pensioner’s home.

The cold-hearted raid happened at a house in The Dale between 9am and 9pm last Thursday (May 31) when a man claiming to be from the ‘water board’ entered her home.

He asked the elderly homeowner to turn her bath taps on upstairs. She believed the man had gone outside, but when she came downstairs, the thief was standing in the woman’s lounge.

After he had left, the victim discovered that £190 had been stolen from her purse and officers believe the raid was one of several across South Worcestershire in the past seven days.

All the incidents involve residents over 70 being approached on their doorstep by people claiming to be from water companies in order to get into their homes.

Officers say the man who called at the property in Droitwich is white, in his 30s, with curly hair and of a stocky build.

Detective Sergeant Dave Knight from Worcester CID told the Standard the forced took any crime of this nature extremely

seriously.

“These are despicable offences. Distraction burglars often target the elderly and other vulnerable people and I would like to remind them not to let strangers inside their home - whatever reason they may give.

“Unfortunately, we also received a number of reports of bogus ‘water board’ officials calling at properties in the St Peter’s area of Worcester last week but thankfully, nothing was stolen in those incidents.

“However, I would also ask local people to be our eyes and ears, particularly where vulnerable people live, such as sheltered housing complexes.

“Any cold calling, suspicious activity, unusual behaviour or strange vehicles should be reported to us and we will always do our very best to respond,” he added.

Anyone with information about the Droitwich distraction burglary can call Det Sgt Knight on 0300 333 3000, quoting 724S 310512, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Visit www.westmercia.police.uk for more information on preventing distraction burglaries and the force’s Knock Knock campaign.

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