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‘Despicable’ burglars con Lickey End woman

Posted on May 24 2013 at 2:18:57

A woman in her 70s had a large sum of cash stolen from her by distraction burglars who called at her home in Lickey End saying they needed to carry out work in her garden.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and warning people to be on their guard following the incident which happened at about 10am yesterday (Thursday, 23 May) in Old Birmingham Road.

The pensioner answered her front door to a man who said he needed access to her garden to work on tree roots causing a problem with a neighbour’s drain. He and an accomplice then entered the garden through a side gate and one of them followed the woman into her house and persuaded her to part with several hundreds of pounds in cash for the work.

When the woman became suspicious and asked for a receipt she was given fake contact details and the man she had just paid then said he had to return to his car for something. The pensioner went to speak to his accomplice in the garden and during that time her house was entered again and a larger sum of cash was stolen.

The woman only realised what had happened after they had left.

Both offenders were white and one appeared to be in his 40s, around 6 feet 2 inches tall with a large build and dark hair. He wore dark clothing and did not have any tools or equipment with him when he called at the address.

The other man appeared to be in his 30s, was shorter at around 5 feet 10 inches, very slim and had fair hair. He was wearing light coloured clothing.

Detective Constable Vicky Collier of Bromsgrove CID said it was a typical distraction burglary and appealed for information from anyone who had also been visited by the men or had seen any vehicle they were using.

She said: “Offences like this are quite rare but when they do occur they often happen in spates so residents should be alert to this.

A regular ploy is for these thieves to pose as officials from utility companies or as workmen and prey on vulnerable people, particularly the elderly.

One will keep the householder occupied while another will sneak into the house to search and steal anything of value.

“These are despicable offences and these criminals have the gift of the gab and are very convincing. 

“Wherever they claim to be from and whatever the reason, do not give them access to your home. Speak to anyone you are not expecting through a window or use a door chain.

“Any genuine caller will be happy to come back later date once you have checked their identity or can arrange to have someone with you.

“If you are not happy that a caller is genuine then it’s crucial that you contact us at the time and the same applies if you live in a neighbourhood and see something you are not happy with.

“It could be a vehicle you are not familiar with that is parked outside an address in unusual circumstances, someone looking over fences or just hanging about. Telling us will enable us to check it out and minutes can make all the difference in terms of catching offenders at the scene.”

Det Con Collier added that people should keep large sums of cash in a bank or building society rather than at home where it was an easier target for thieves.
Anyone with information about the offence at Lickey End should call her at Bromsgrove CID on 101, quoting the incident reference 249-S-230513, or details can be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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