Pensioner thwarts bogus callers

Friday 11 January 2013 Updated: 11/01 15:52

POLICE have praised a pensioner in Fernhill Heath who thwarted two bogus water company officials that tried to trick their way into her home.

Two men called at an address in Dilmore Avenue, Fernhill Heath at 12.45pm on Wednesday (Jan 9) and told the woman in her 80s who lived there they wanted to check her home's water.

But she refused to let them in despite their best efforts which included offering her £20 to allow them into her house.

The two men, who were both white and driving a white van, were not wearing uniforms and did not have ID on them.

One is described as being in his 30s, about 5ft 3ins tall, and stocky. He was wearing a light blue shirt under a dark blue jumper and denim.

The other was described as being in his 20s, around 6ft tall, thin and with black hair. He was wearing overalls.

Detective Inspector Richard Rees, who leads the team investigating burglaries in South Worcestershire, said: "While these men were not successful on this occasion, I am concerned they may try to target another elderly person in our community and residents need to be on their guard."

"I want to praise the lady they tried to con because she did all the right things - she refused to let them in her home without being confident that they were legitimate and would not be persuaded or bullied into doing otherwise. If in doubt, keep them out!"

"She then called the police immediately and because we take distraction burglaries so seriously, we conducted area searches for the van straight away, unfortunately without success on this occasion."

Anyone who is approached by suspicious callers or the men matching the descriptions are being urged to call the police.

DI Rees also called on friends, neighbours and people who have regular contact with older and vulnerable people to make sure they are aware of the steps they need to take to make their homes more secure.

The police's advice includes encouraging vulnerable people not to open the door if they are not expecting or do not recognise the caller. If they do open the door they should secure it first with the door bar or chain and check the caller's identity carefully.

If a distraction burglary has taken place or been attempted the victim should be encouraged to report it as quickly as possible.

They should also keep an eye on people calling in the area or acting suspiciously and note the registration numbers of vehicles parked in their area for a period of time.

To report suspicious callers contact the police on 101.

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