Pensioners Robbed In Distraction Burglary

An e-fit of a man suspected of being one of a pair of distraction burglars has been released by Southampton detectives.

Police want to trace the men after an elderly couple were robbed of cash and jewellery by two men who pretended to be from the water board. 

Between 3.30 and 3.45pm Thursday, August 9, a man rang the doorbell of a house in Oxford Avenue, Southampton, and told the 80-year-old woman resident there was an emergency with her water pipes and he needed to check her taps. 

Once in the kitchen, he asked the woman to turn on the taps in the bathroom. 

At the same time, it is believed another man entered the living room area and searched a cabinet in front of the woman's 85-year-old husband. 

The men left when the woman became suspicious and started asking questions. She rang police and then realised that a pale blue tartan tweed purse, containing at least £40 cash, was missing. 

The purse has a snap clasp and opens into two separate sections. Also missing is a silver bracelet with bird-shaped links.

The first man is described as white, in his late twenties, about 6ft tall and skinny. He has very short black hair and was wearing a light blue checked shirt, untucked and open at the front. He spoke with a European accent. 

The second man is white, aged about 25, 6ft tall and with facial stubble. He is believed to have been wearing jeans and a colourful top. He spoke with a Midlands accent. 

Detectives want to hear from anyone who recognises the man shown in the e-fit, anyone who has found the discarded purse or has been offered the silver bracelet.

They also want to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time who saw men of these descriptions or who had their doors knocked by similar males who said they were from the water board. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Southampton West District CID at Southampton Central on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity line on 0800 555 111. 

Minicom users can ring 01962 875000.

 DC Christopher Bradford said: "We are reminding the public that employees working for utility companies always will carry identification badges and householders always should ask to see those badges."