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7 December 2010, 11:54 | Updated: 7 December 2010, 11:59
Bedfordshire Police are warning elderly people to be on the look out distraction burglars after three similar incidents in Bedford and Clapham.
In two cases the conman claimed to be a police officer and in the other he used the pretext of taking measurements.
At 9.15pm on Tuesday 16 November, a 89 year old woman awoke in her home in Brookfield Road, Bedford, to find two men who had broken into her house.
When she questioned them one claimed to be a police officer and said they were checking the area after a break in. The woman told the men to get out and after they left she discovered they had stole cash from her handbag.
A second distraction theft took place at 4pm on Thursday 18 November from a 78 year old woman living in The Baulk, Clapham. A man who had recently been working on the house turned up under the pretext of doing some measurements.
After distracting her she discovered he had taken cash from her handbag and run off. He is described as a white man in his thirties and wearing a grey jacket and frameless glasses.
Finally at 8.45pm on Tuesday 23 November 80 yr old woman living in Wood Lane, Bedford heard a noise at the back of her house and then a bang at the front. She went to the rear of the house and opened the door to find a man there. He also claimed to be a police officer and said there had been a report of someone in her back garden.
He asked to come into her house to check her windows but she refused and locked the door before calling Bedfordshire Police. When officers arrived the man had fled. He is described as in his twenties, of slim build and wearing a black jacket with white writing on it.
Detective Constable Mark Stewart, investigating, said: "People should always ask to see identification if someone claims to be a Police Officer investigating a potential crime - they can also call 01234 841212 to check we are who we say we are.
"House holders should not let anyone they do not know well into their home nor leave them on their own, particularly if their handbag or wallet is in the vicinity. "