Crooks prey on the elderly

DETECTIVES are appealing for information after a woman in her 70s fell victim to a distraction burglar.

The incident happened at around 4pm on Monday, June 29, when a young woman walked up to the front door of a property on Devonshire Avenue in Woking, and asked the owner for a glass of water.

TAKING ADVANTAGE - there has been a spate of thefts from the homes of vulnerable older people

TAKING ADVANTAGE – there has been a spate of thefts from the homes of vulnerable older people

While the owner went off to get the water, the offender picked up a handbag that was standing in the hallway.

A friend who was also in the property at the time witnessed what had happened and, when the owner and friend together challenged the young suspect, she denied everything and left on a white bicycle.

The owner later found her handbag outside her home and has since reported that the bag was empty anyway, so fortunately nothing was stolen.

The offender is described as white, in her mid-teens and of plump build. She was around 5ft 4in tall and had short darkish hair. She was wearing a blue anorak and a blue helmet with a peak on the front.

Investigating Officer DC Nick Ring said: “We believe this woman is targeting the elderly and we are appealing to residents in the area to call us if they think they know who she is.

“Equally, if you’ve seen anyone riding around on a white pedal cycle please get in touch. Distraction burglaries against the elderly really are the lowest of the low and we are urging residents to remain vigilant.

“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 a stranger in. Don’t be taken in by these con artists, no matter how convincing their story may sound.

“I would also ask residents to speak with their elderly relatives and neighbours about the dangers posed by strangers calling at their homes.”

ANYONE who has information concerning this offence is urged to contact the police quoting reference 45150055975 or by reporting online via my.surrey.police.uk/splonlinereportingweb. Alternatively contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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