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16 June 2013, 10:54
Police are warning New Forest residents to be wary of strangers who ask to search their gardens for a child's lost guinea pig.
The trick has been used to steal cash and jewellery from elderly residents. A woman calls on householders, who then accompany her to search in a back garden. While they are outside, someone else enters the house and takes money and jewellery.
Detective Constable Giulio Pizzo said:
"The latest trick is a crying woman who claims to be looking for her daughter's lost guinea pig.
"It doesn't matter if they want to search for lost pets or footballs; if you do not know this visitor, shut and lock
the door and ring the police immediately"
At lunchtime on 4 June, a man, 93, and a woman, 86, lost two women's rings and cash from a bedroom of their home at Chiltern Drive, Barton on Sea.
On 3 June, a man, 81, lost £400, a black wallet and two women's rings in an identical theft at his home in Parsonage Barn Lane, Ringwood.
Anyone who has information about the burglars or who has not told police about such a visit is asked to ring Lyndhurst CID on 101.