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Warning after crooks target elderly woman

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

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A WARNING has gone out after an elderly woman became the latest victim of tricksters.

The pensioner, of Eureka Road, Midway, was left in a ‘very distressed’ state after being targeted by men claiming they had come to put up fencing and needed access to her garden.

It brought an alert from Chris Bond, Derbyshire Police’s expert on Operation Liberal – a national crackdown on doorstep and distraction burglaries – who said elderly people were more likely to become victims of the crimes.

He said: “Not many are under 80. Criminals seem to think targeting elderly people is easy pickings but it is cowardly because they (the thieves) don’t want to meet other people who they think will ask questions. Older people can be more trusting.

“A lot of the time it is someone to talk to, but victims are being lied to which is horrible.”

A police appeal went out yesterday just an hour after the incident in which two men called at the elderly woman’s home.

One distracted her by taking her into the back garden while the other entered her home and took money from a purse. They left in a white vehicle towards Midway Road.

They are described as white and of large build. One had medium length brown hair, was tanned and clean shaven, wearing a black jacket with a red logo on the chest, dark trousers, and work boots. He was said to have had a faint Irish accent.

If anyone has any information or saw anyone matching the description they should contact Derbyshire police on 101, quoting incident number 94 of March 27.

PC Bond said: “In the last two years we have seen a 70 per cent decrease in distraction burglaries. We are really pleased, but we still find people are opening their doors so easily.”

He said conmen claiming to be from non-existent ‘waterboards’ was the most common tactic, but falling. A new problem has emerged in so-called tradespeople cold calling for repair work.

The intelligence officer added: “We have a saying ‘if you are not sure, don’t open the door’.

“If you do have someone in your house, make sure you are not lured outside – very often another person is hidden away.

“It is your own home, you have the right to be rude and close the door.”

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