Two elderly Dunstable victims 'shaken and upset' after being scammed out of thousands of pounds during distraction burglary

Police issue warning to residents

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 12:32 pm

Two elderly victims have been left shaken and upset after a man talked his way into their Dunstable home and stole nearly £3,000.

On Tuesday, August 24, at approximately 4pm, a man knocked at the door of the property in Seamons Close.

He offered to carry out work on the home’s roof, and eventually the woman at the house agreed to pay him £200.

Police issue warning to residents

As the victim took the money out of her purse, the man was handed £200, and then claimed that he had only been given £180.

The victim then went back to her purse and removed another £20, and placed her purse back in the drawer.

Whilst this was happening, two other people were distracting the victim’s partner.

All three offenders then left the location without completing any work.

The victim checked her drawer and her purse - which contained nearly £3,000 in cash - had been stolen.

The man who entered the property is described as white, approximately 5ft 8ins, in his late 30s or early 40s, and of average build. He had fair hair and was clean shaven.

The second man who stayed in the van parked outside is described as white man, in his 40s and of big build.

The third offender who was also involved is described as a teenage boy, aged between 13 and 14, and thin.

The vehicle is described as a green van with a roofing and building company name on it.

The stolen purse is described as long and blue with flowers on it.

DC Jason Wheeler, from Bedfordshire Police’s dedicated Operation Maze burglary team, said: “This was a disgusting, callous crime where these individuals have targeted the elderly victims in their own home.

"The incident has left them extremely shaken and upset, and we need information to find the people responsible.

“If anybody recognises the description of the offenders, their van, or have found the purse or know where it is, then I would like them to get in touch.

“I would urge local residents to check any CCTV footage they may have from around this time. I am also appealing to anyone else who may have had a visit from these people.

“Please remember to always stay safe and do not let strangers into your home, no matter what their excuse is. It is ok to just say no and turn unannounced callers away.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact DC Wheeler online or by calling 101 and quoting reference number 40/44905/21.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Police are asking people to share this advice with family and friends:

> Where possible, only answer the door if you know a member of your family, a friend, a carer or a pre-arranged tradesperson is visiting

> If you have an unexpected caller, use a door chain when answering the door, or speak to them through a window

> Ensure any other doors to the property are locked before you answer the front door

> If unsure of the visitor's identity, always ask for their ID first and telephone the company they are claiming to be from. Use the telephone number listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider

> Many service providers, when they are making the appointment with you, are happy to arrange for their representative to use a password of your choosing

> Never agree to any work that the caller claims needs to be done to your home. It is okay to say no and turn the person away

> If you are able, report the incident to the police on 101 with as much detail as you can provide

> Even if the person at your door gives you a convincing story as to why they need to enter your house, if you were not expecting them, turn them away immediately and report it to the police on 101.