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Warning After Pensioner Is Targeted In Attempted Distraction Burglary

Published on: 22 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 22 Nov, 2012

Residents in Guildford are being advised to be extra vigilant following an attempted distraction burglary in the York Road area in which suspects claimed to be from a water company.

The incident happened on Tuesday, November 13, at about 1.20pm, when an 89-year-old resident was targeted by three offenders. The pensioner answered a knock at her door to find a man claiming to be from a water company who needed to gain access to turn the supply off.

The householder allowed the uninvited caller into her home and showed him into the kitchen where he told her to carry on with her meal. The homeowner sat down but turned around to see a further two people, a man and a youth, at the living room door. The woman felt uncomfortable about what was happening in her home and screamed at the intruders to get out of the house.

The three offenders left the property and nothing was taken.

The suspects are all described as white. The two men were aged around 40 to 50 years old with tidy brown hair. The first suspect is described as 5ft 8in, well built and was wearing a short navy coat. The second suspect is described as being 6ft and of a slim build. The youth is described as aged between 14 and 15 years old, 5ft 5in with black tidy hair.

Surrey Police is appealing for anyone who may recognise the descriptions of these offenders or who may have seen the suspects acting suspiciously in the vicinity around the time of the incidents, to contact officers as soon a possible.

Detective Constable Andy Greaves investigating said local people should be aware of this latest incident and be on their guard. He praised the resident for her steely actions and said: “This plucky pensioner is to be commended for her speedy reaction in shouting at these intruders – an action which clearly had the desired effect as the suspects scarpered.

“However, I would advise residents not to let an unexpected visitor into their home under any circumstances. Always stop to think whether you are expecting any callers, use the chain if you do decide to answer the door and check for identification before letting anyone in. Don’t be taken in by these con artists, however convincing their story may sound.

“These are cruel and cowardly crimes which prey on the more vulnerable in our communities and we are advising residents to stay vigilant. Neighbours of elderly homeowners can help by making them aware of the potential pitfalls and keeping an eye out for suspicious people around their neighbourhood.

“Similarly it is imperative that all residents remain vigilant about home security and ensure that windows and doors are securely locked. If you are in need of crime prevention advice please contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team and speak to the crime reduction advisor.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Surrey Police on 101 quoting reference GD/12/10209. Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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