El­derly tar­geted by scams

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by TOM HER­BERT tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

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

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