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13 January 2011, 10:13 | Updated: 13 January 2011, 10:20
Detectives in Dorset are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after a series of distraction burglaries across the county – with officers keen to trace a man who may be able to help them with their enquiries.
Since Monday, 10 January 2011, officers have received reports of four distraction burglaries in Dorset. Detectives believe that these offences are linked.
The incidents, in which two men purporting to be water officials have attempted to gain entry to pensioners’ homes before stealing money and jewellery, have happened at addresses in Dorchester, Poole and Blandford.
Detective Inspector Craig Travers, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said:
“Having spoken with all four victims, it appears that all of these distraction burglaries may be linked – with two callous men seemingly targeting vulnerable and elderly people.
“The two men, both white and aged in their thirties or forties, appear to have travelled across the county and attempted to trick their way into victims’ homes.”
At around 6.45pm on Monday, 10 January 2011, an 80-year-old woman reported that she had been the victim of an attempted distraction burglary along Orchard Street in Blandford. Nothing was stolen.
Yesterday, Tuesday, 11 January 2011, police received a report of an attempted distraction burglary from an address along Thompson Close in Puddletown. The incident took place at around 11.45am – nothing had been stolen from the victim, an 80-year-old woman.
Later that day, at around 12.45pm, offenders stole a large quantity of jewellery from an 88-year-old woman at an address off Cambridge Road in Dorchester.
Finally, offenders entered an address along Old Farm Road in the Oakdale area of Poole at around 1.30pm on Tuesday, 11 January 2011. Money was stolen from an 82-year-old woman.
DI Travers continued:
“Our enquiries have also revealed that a man – who matches the descriptions of one of the distraction burglars – attempted to stay at a hotel in central Bournemouth on Sunday, 9 January.
“This man, who was accompanied by two young boys, was reported to police after he checked into a hotel and behaved very unusually before almost immediately leaving.
“I believe that this man probably went on to check into another hotel or guesthouse in the Bournemouth area and possibly also checked into other hotels on earlier dates.
“I would like to speak with any hoteliers who may have had a similar man and two young boys stay with them over the last few days.
“Anyone with any information, and anyone who witnessed any of the distraction burglaries, is urged to contact police as soon as possible.”
The man police would like to speak with is white, aged in his thirties or forties, around five feet nine inches tall, with blonde hair.
The two boys are both white and aged around 10 and 14. One of the boys has distinctive curly blonde hair.
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 01202 22 22 22 quoting incident number 11:187. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.