Elderly woman falls victim to bogus caller

15 February 2011

Detectives in Harrogate are investigating after an elderly woman was targeted by a bogus caller in Cundall.

The victim, 74-year-old woman, lost a large amount of cash when she was tricked into letting a man claiming to be a workman into her home.

At around 10.30am on Monday 7 February 2011, the suspect called at the victim’s house on Swale Avenue and tricked his way in by claiming he needed to test the water.

He said he was working in the area and having drilled through a water pipe he need to check the victim’s supply.

Having gained access to the property the offender turned on the tap in the kitchen and asked the victim to keep her hand on it while he went upstairs to test the water.

As the victim stood in the kitchen, the suspect sneaked into the living room and stole her purse containing a large sum of money and also took cash which had been kept upstairs.

The man, who is described as white, aged in his 20s, with black curly or bushy hair, then made his excuses and left the house.

Police are appealing for anyone with any information that could help their enquiries to get in touch. Officers would like to speak to anyone who can help identify the suspect or saw a small silver car in the area around the time of the incident.

Detective Constable Scott Nugent, of Harrogate CID, said: “If you saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the Cundall area, at the time the incident occurred, or you have been approached in similar circumstances, please contact the police or Crimestoppers with information.

“If you have any callers to your home, please ask to see their identification. If you have any suspicions whatsoever, then they should be able to provide a contact telephone number for the company they represent, so that you can verify their details.

“If they are genuine they will be willing to wait on your doorstep with the door closed while you make the enquiry. If in doubt don’t let them in.”

Anyone who can help the investigation is urged to contact DC Scott Nugent, of Harrogate CID, on 0845 60 60 24 7, quoting reference number 12110020954.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

For further advice about guarding against distraction burglaries visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/boguscallers

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