Police are urging residents not to let strangers into their homes after pensioners were targeted in the Oldham area.
At about 6.20pm on Tuesday 11 October 2011, a man called at a house on Huddersfield Road, Diggle. He told the 65-year-old woman who lives there that he needed to leave an item for a neighbour in the garden, before bursting in and grabbing her handbag. He ran through the house and escaped out the kitchen door with the bag, containing some cash.
An evo-fit of the thief, described as being of mixed race, 6ft tall, of slim build, with short black hair and aged between 25 and 30 years old, has been released
At about 10am on Sunday 23 October 2011, a man claiming to be from the ‘Water Board’, called at a house on Broadgate, Dobcross. He pushed the woman, aged 84, to one side and started running the taps in her kitchen. He then walked into her lounge, picked up her bag and left, knocking her off balance as he barged past.
The offender is described as white, 5ft 10in tall, of medium build, in his late 20s or early 30s, with short brown hair.
Police Constable Mark Clough, from the Saddleworth and Lees Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It is unclear whether this incident is linked to others, but clearly the offenders are comfortable stealing from elderly residents.”
These types of offences are appalling and there is a team of dedicated officers working to catch whoever is responsible. There are also extra officers in and around the area to reassure residents, but what we need is information about the culprits so we can get them locked up.
I would also encourage people to follow the ‘Lock, Stop, Chain, Check’ method to keep offenders at bay; keep all doors locked, always open the door with the chain on and check identification. If you are in any doubt call the company that the caller claims to be from because genuine callers won’t mind you doing this. It is also important for residents to look out for one another and if you have an elderly relative or neighbour please look out for them.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 0161 856 9080 or call the independent charity Crime stoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
ADVICE ON BOGUS CALLERS
– Keep all external doors locked at all times, whether you are at home or not.
– Stop and think before you open the door. If possible, look out of the window or use a door viewer (spy-hole) to check whether you know the caller.
– If you have a door bar or chain, put it on before opening the door and don’t open the door completely until you are happy with the caller’s identity.
– Always ask for the caller to show identification. A genuine caller will be happy for you to check this with their employer.
– If you have not got a door bar or chain, ask the caller to push their identity card through the letter-box.
– If you still have any doubts, ask them to call back when a family member, friend or neighbour can be present. Genuine callers would never wish to cause distress, and would be happy to call again.
– An outside light over your door will help you to see a caller clearly if it is dark.
– Remember that friends, neighbours and relatives can help by setting up password schemes or acting as a nominated neighbour. For more information about these schemes click here.