Conmen robbed lone elderly people
3:35pm Wed Jan 23, 2013
Police are linking five distraction burglaries that took place on Friday.
Three to five men targeted homes of elderly and vulnerable people in Averham, Weston, Ollerton, Rampton and Rainworth.
Detective Sergeant Rick Jones, of Newark CID, said victims either lived on their own or were at home alone at the time. The offenders claimed to be working for the gas board or a construction company.
In each case they stole cash and bank or credit cards after conning their way inside.
In one case the thieves said they needed to work on a garden wall.
The occupant was led into the back garden, leaving the front door unlocked.
When the occupant returned they found the house had been entered and cash and cards had been stolen.
At other addresses, the conmen said they needed to check tiles on a roof or were working on nearby gas pipes.
DS Jones said: “These are horrible crimes. The victims are elderly and society’s vulnerable, which makes crimes like this all the harder to stomach.
“These offenders, almost certainly travelling criminals, are the lowest of the low.
“How would they feel if it was their grandparent who fell victim to this sort of confidence trickery?
“In each case victims, who previously felt safe and secure in their homes, are left to feel taken in, violated and insecure —feelings that can stay with them for a long time.”
DS Jones said it was possible the men did work for a construction company as some victims made reference to an emblem on clothing. One may have been wearing a baseball cap with words including property on it.
It is believed they were using a small dark car that may have been a VW Golf or a BMW.
DS Jones said: “Always ask for identification if someone calls at the door claiming to represent a company or organisation and verify their identity.
“If there is any doubt close the door and ring the police. We would much sooner identify someone as genuine than investigate a distraction burglary.
“Don’t be persuaded. Don’t give them the benefit of the doubt and don’t be taken in. People who truly represent genuine organisations will not mind having their credentials checked.
“A bit of good neighbourliness never goes astray either. Keep an eye out for elderly folk or people living alone on your street and report anything suspicious.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious or can identify the offenders or their vehicle should contact Detective Constable Steve Hines at Newark CID on 101.
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