Con­men prey on el­derly in doorstep scam

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE -

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a string of bo­gus caller bur­glar­ies at the homes of el­derly peo­ple in the Ash­ford area.

In the first in­ci­dent, a man knocked on the door of a 95-yearold wo­man in Downsview, Char­ing, last Fri­day af­ter­noon, say­ing he was from the wa­ter board and needed to check the taps.

He went straight into the kitchen and the wo­man left the front door open. The man be­gan to fill her ket­tle with wa­ter and then a sec­ond man ap­peared, say­ing he was go­ing to speak to a neigh­bour and left, clos­ing the kitchen door be­hind him.

Af­ter the first man left the pen­sioner tele­phoned her neigh­bour to ask if the wa­ter board had vis­ited. She alerted the po­lice and it was dis­cov­ered a quan­tity of cash had been stolen from the home.

The of­fend­ers were both white and aged be­tween 35 and 45. The first was 6ft tall, of stocky build and with short hair. He was wear­ing dark trousers and a light top. The sec­ond man was the same height and wear­ing a mid-length dark-coloured duf­fle coat and dark shoes.

The same af­ter­noon, a man aged be­tween 25 to 35 called at the house of a 96-year-old wo­man in Bar­row Hill, Ash­ford, and told her he had come to test the wa­ter. She re­fused to let him in, but at about 7pm she found the same man had got into her house and was search­ing the kitchen. He was joined by an­other man with frizzy hair and shortly af­ter a third man came into the house and started to search up­stairs.

The lady was shocked but un­hurt and po­lice are check­ing to see if any­thing was stolen.

Last Mon­day, an­other man called at a home in Os­borne Road, Willes­bor­ough, of­fer­ing to cut the lawn, say­ing that for the first time he would do it for free. When he was taken into the back gar­den to in­spect the lawn it is be­lieved the front door was left open.

The man left say­ing he would come back to com­plete the work but never re­turned and later the owner dis­cov­ered a purse had been stolen from a coat. The man is de­scribed as aged 30 to 35, 5ft 2in tall with a chubby face and short dark brown hair. He was wear­ing a polo neck shirt and blue dun­ga­rees.

In an­other in­ci­dent in Bethers­den Road, Smar­den, an 82-year-old wo­man had money stolen from her hand­bag af­ter a caller asked for a drink. He was aged be­tween 45-50, 6ft tall, of medium build with short grey hair and stub­ble. He was wear­ing a dark coloured hat, pos­si­bly woollen, a navy blue zip up jacket, dark coloured bot­toms and white train­ers and spoke with a south­ern ac­cent.

The men be­ing sought in con­nec­tion with in­ci­dents in Char­ing and Smar­den

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1173076

Dave Lee, left, ac­cepts a cheque for Happy Hol­i­days from Paul Stone, Park Mall man­ager

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