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4 January 2011, 16:03 | Updated: 4 January 2011, 16:06
Bedfordshire Police are urging the elderly to be on their guard after a pensioner fell victim to a distraction burglary in Dunstable on Friday December 31st.
The offender called at a property in Langdale Road at 10.30am and told a 91-year-old woman he had been asked to cut down the trees in her back garden. She told the man she had no money and let him into the property.
Minutes later, a concerned neighbour see the man acting suspiciously and asked him to leave and the offender left empty handed.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw the man hanging around the area, making his escape or getting into a vehicle. He is described as white, about 30-years-old, 6ft tall, with a medium build and short black hair. He was wearing a black silky jacket.
DC Michelle Sears, investigating, said “I would like to speak to anyone who saw this man hanging around the Langdale Road area of Dunstable on Friday morning.
She wants to remind elderly people to always use a spy-hole and chain and insist on seeing identification from callers. If in doubt, call 999.
If you have an elderly relative, friend or neighbour now is a good time to remind them not to let unexpected visitors into their homes and follow these tips:
· Always use a door chain or spy-hole to check who is calling before you open the door. Shut and lock the back door before you open the front – these offenders often work in pairs.
· All utility staff carry ID cards. Make them show the card, and then use the number in the phone book to call the relevant company and check that they are a genuine member of staff. Make sure they wait outside while you do this.
· Always stay with the caller while they are in your home. You should be suspicious if they want to look round on their own.
· Never show anyone where you keep valuables. Do not keep large amounts of money in the house – even if you think it is well hidden.
· If you are at all suspicious of the caller, DO NOT LET THEM IN. Lock the door and call the police.
Anyone with information relating to these incidents can contact DC Michelle Sears at Dunstable Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 473055, or text your message to 07786 200011, or you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.