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Warning and appeal as 86-year-old woman targeted by bogus caller

February 20, 2013, 11:12 am

Police are appealing for information and warning residents to be on their guard following a distraction burglary in Bainbridge near Leyburn.

Just before lunch time – at around 11.50am on Tuesday 19 February 2013, a man called at the home of an 86-year-old woman in Bainbridge.

He claimed that the woman had a leak and asked her to turn on her kitchen taps. He then claimed he needed to go upstairs and turn on the bathroom taps.

The woman followed him upstairs and saw him coming out of her bedroom. After the man left, she discovered jewellery had been stolen including two gold rings, one sapphire and diamond and one ruby, and a gold locket.

The suspect is described as white, aged in his 40s and wearing a black jacket with the hood up. He was wearing dark coloured trousers and was carrying a black or navy shoulder bag.

Police are carrying out house-to-house enquiries in the area today and are appealing to anyone who may have seen a man matching the suspects description and anyone else who has had the man call at their door.

Inspector Mark Gee of Richmondshire Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “This type of crime is one of the most cowardly and despicable crimes we deal with. These people target the most trusting and vulnerable people in our communities and they need to be stopped.

“Our advice to residents is not to answer your door to cold callers at all. And do not, under any circumstances, allow them into your home.

“We also appeal to relatives, friends and neighbours to reassure older people that it is not impolite to say no to callers and to refuse to answer their door if they do not know who is calling.

“Some callers may be genuine and will understand if you ask them to wait outside while you check their credentials. Ask them to provide identity through the letterbox and make them wait while you call their company to check them out.

“But remember, if you are not sure who is at your door, dont open it.”

If you are targeted by this type of caller or feel threatened, do not hesitate to call 999.

Anyone with any information about the Bainbridge burglary or can help identify the suspect is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Northallerton CID.

Or you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

North Yorkshire Police has produced a video,  leaflet and door hanger for elderly people to remind them not to answer their door to cold callers.

To pick up a free door-hanger, please call into any police station or call your local Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.

To watch the video, please follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJ64gFo0s0

Contact Crimestoppers anonymously with information about crime

101 – The police non-emergency number

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.
Find out more information about 101 by following this link.

 
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