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10 April 2012, 05:49 | Updated: 10 April 2012, 06:07
Essex police are warning residents in Benfleet to be on their guard after a man tricked his way into a number of houses there and stole items and money from elderly residents.
At about 5.15pm on Saturday April 7th, a small man, described as of Asian appearance tricked his way into the home of a woman in her 80s in the Florence Gardens area of Benfleet by saying he needs her to run some taps and check the water. He then searched through drawers and cupboards, but did not find anything to steal. He may have left in a white van.
At 7.30 in the morning on Monday April 9 a couple in Sidwell Avenue, Benfleet a man said he was working up the road and had an emergency and needed to check the taps for blue water. He stole the man?s wallet and two of the woman's rings. They describe the man as small, about 5 feet 1 inch tall, age about 30 to 40 of slim build with short dark hair. He spoke in broken English, the couple think he may be eastern European. He wore a check shirt, with blue jeans and workman's boots.
At about 7.40am on the same morning, Monday April 9, a man tricked his way into the home of a woman in her 80s in South View Road, Benfleet by saying he had come to turn her water off. He is described as a short Asian man in his 30s with dark hair, wearing a grey top. He stole a watch, jewellery and cash.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: "Please warn anyone you know who could be vulnerable to this sort of disgusting crime. If you did see anything in the area around these times, perhaps a white van or small white car and a man meeting these descriptions, then please contact us.
"Any tiny piece of information could be vital in helping us to catch him before he can rob and cause great distress to vulnerable people."
Police are urging all residents in or near Benfleet to be on their guard. For crime prevention advice, or a free home security assessment, please contact your local neighbourhood police team.
Anyone who saw anything at all, or who might know anything about what happened or who did this, is asked to contact Pc Paul Levene or his colleagues at Benfleet police on 101, or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 500 111.