Nottinghamshire Police are urging residents to be on their guard after two elderly women were targeted by thieves within an hour of one another yesterday morning (Friday 24 August).
The first incident occurred just before 10am at the home of a 92-year old woman in Elms Close, Ruddington where a man entered her home under the premise of carrying out works nearby and needing to access a stop-tap under the resident’s kitchen sink in order to prevent an explosion.
While inside the property, the man has stolen a purse and a quantity of cash.
The man is described as white, around 40 years of age and as having dark hair. He has a Somerset accent, was wearing work clothes, a flat cap and is of a scruffy appearance. It is not known whether he left the area on-foot or using a vehicle.
In a separate incident at around 10.40am in the nearby village of Bradmore, a 82-year old woman has reported having her handbag stolen from within her home while she was inside the address. The stolen handbag contained her bank cards, purse, bus pass and medication.
Officers believe the two incidents may be linked and are urging anyone with any information to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 200 of 24 August.
Officers are also investigating whether another burglary in Bradmore, which was reported to the force just after 4pm yesterday, is also linked to these two incidents.
How to help protect yourself from opportunist thieves
- Lock: Keep your front and back doors locked even when you are at home.
- Stop: Before you answer, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone. Check you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a spy hole or window to see who the caller is.
- Chain: If you decide to open the door, put the chain or door bar on first, if you have one. Keep the chain or bar on while you are talking to the caller. With PVC doors, it can be difficult and costly to fit a door chain. Check with the manufacturer before you buy a PVC door, that a chain can be fitted.
- Fire safety: Only put on your door chain as you answer the door, don’t keep it on all the time as this could delay your exit in case of fire.
- Check: Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation name or logo. Even if the caller has a pre-arranged appointment with you, check their identification card carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, call the company concerned to verify their representative’s identity. If you’re still not sure ask the caller to come back later when someone is with you.
Report your concerns as soon as possible
To report suspicious activity you have seen, please call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 as soon as possible. If the offenders are still at the scene or a crime is currently taking place, please call 999 immediately.