Elderly targeted by scams
ELDERLY women have been targeted in a raft of distraction burglaries across two counties.
Thieves have stolen handbags, cash, bank cards and jewellery from homes in Bucks and Berkshire during a two hour spree.
Homes in Northborough Road in Slough, Goose Green in Farnham Royal, Wycombe End in Beaconsfield, and one in Denham Garden Village were targeted between 2pm and 4pm on Thursday July 27.
Thames Valley Police has launched an appeal for any witnesses to come forward with information.
In two of the incidents, the victims answered the door to a woman asking for a pen and paper to leave a note for a neighbour.
On both occasions the woman then entered the victim’s home and distracted them while an accomplice has taken property from the home.
In the other two incidents, a woman came to the door and suggested she knew the victims and entered their homes uninvited.
Again the woman left after a few moments and it is believed that an accomplice has taken property from the homes.
The offender is a white woman, with short brown hair, 5ft 4ins, medium build, wearing glasses. She was wearing a light-coloured jacket and trousers.
No violence was used during the burglaries and none of the victims sustained any injuries.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Stuart Cook, said: “We are appealing for anyone with information about these distraction burglaries which we believe may have been carried out by the same offenders.
“We would ask anyone with information to contact Thames Valley Police on 101. We would advise also that people remain vigilant and keep an eye on their elderly neighbours and relatives to make sure they are not being targeted by distraction burglars and report anything suspicious.”
An investigation has also been launched into a possible doorstep scam after a house in Chesham was targeted by a cold-call builder.
Trading Standards officers say the trader agreed to carry out repairs for a small charge at the house in Eskdale Avenue between June 16 and July 5. But Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards say the costs started to rack up as the builder said more roofing and guttering work needed doing.
Trading Standards Officer Trevor Hooper said they were now keen to find out if neighbours saw anything suspicious, whether they noticed people working on scaffolding, or if they spotted the vehicles being used.
The appeal came at the close of National Scams Awareness Month in July, during which Trading Standards teams have been recruiting residents as ‘Scam Champions’ to be the ‘ears and eyes’ in the community to fight against the rogue traders.
Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council cabinet member for community engagement and public health, said Trading Standards valued neighbours’ help in tackling doorstep crime.
He said: “Early alerts by neighbours have helped us prosecute a number of doorstep criminals who have preyed on elderly and vulnerable people. I’d be really grateful if neighbours in Eskdale Avenue would cast their minds back to late June and early July and help us put some missing pieces in this jigsaw.”
Noel urged residents to beware of cold-callers: people making unsolicited visits or phone calls to sell goods or services. Our advice to residents is never to do business on the doorstep,” he added.
Information about the Eskdale Avenue incident, or other incidents of cold calling, can be given to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506. Or reports can be to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.
Early alerts by neighbours have helped us prosecute a number of doorstep criminals who have preyed on elderly and vulnerable people