ELDERLY people are being warned to be on their guard after two pensioners were targeted in distraction burglaries in the past week.
A large amount of cash was stolen in both incidents, which involved unknown men telling the victims they had come to do some maintenance work in the garden and needed money before they could carry on.
Police are not linking the offences, but say they are hopeful it is not the start of a worrying trend.
PC Eileen Banton, of Swadlincote Police, said: “Unfortunately, there are people who will target the elderly and vulnerable and use any story they can to try to gain entry to their homes. It is important not to let anybody into your home who you do not know.”
In the latest offence on Wednesday, jewellery and a watch were also taken from the home of a 71-year-old woman in Newhall.
The woman received a knock at the front door of her High Street home at around 1.15pm, to find a stranger asking if he could get into the house to do some maintenance work.
She refused to let him in, telling him to walk to the back of the house, and spoke to him in the garden. However, when she went back inside she heard somebody coming down the stairs.
He said he had gone in to use the toilet and left, but when she looked upstairs she found an undisclosed amount of cash had been stolen, along with a gold watch, two earrings and three gold chains.
The first man was between 30 and 35 years old, 5ft 10in tall and of stocky build. He was wearing a dark woolly hat, a dark-coloured puffa jacket and dark shoes. The second man was of a similar age, but slimmer.
Last Thursday, an 89-year-old man was targeted in his home in Court Street, Woodville.
At around 9am, he answered the door to a man who said he was there to do some work in the garden. He challenged it, but was told the work had been arranged for him and a deposit was required. When he went to take the money out of his wallet, the man reached in and took a large amount of cash, all in £20 notes, and promised to return to carry out the work. He did not.
The man was described as white and around 30 years old, approximately 6ft tall and of large build, with a clean-shaven face and a local accent. He was wearing a black beret.