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Police appeal after elderly women targeted by distraction burglars

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: September 29, 2012

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Police are hoping people can help them identify men they believe could be connected to attempted distraction burglaries involving two elderly women in Paulton.

On Thursday, September 13, at about 3pm in Greenvale Road, a man walked into an 84-year-old woman's home though the back door, claiming he was from the council and needed to check an air vent.

He looked though several kitchen cupboards before going next door, again walking in through the back door and telling the 79-year-old woman there he was from the council. Nothing was stolen in either incident.

Both men were white and wearing baseball caps. One had an Irish accent and perhaps a lisp, and was described as smelly and unwashed.

Officers believe the incidents are possibly connected to other similar distraction thefts that took place on Wednesday, September 12, at Churchpath, Over Stratton, and South Petherton.

Sergeant Geoff Cannon, from Radstock Police Station, appealed to people help protect elderly and vulnerable neighbours from being taken advantage of by conmen, by keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.

He said distraction burglaries and attempted distraction thefts are very distressing for victims who often live alone.

Sgt Cannon said: "These sorts of incidents don't happen by pure chance. Those involved often visit an area to find out more and may have even been going door to door offering services.

"We encourage people to be aware of anyone or anything suspicious and immediately report it to the police."

He also encouraged residents to ensure their doors and windows are kept locked and discouraged people from letting unknown callers into their homes.

Sgt Cannon added that doorstep callers should be asked for identification before checks are made with the company they claim to be calling from.

People seen acting suspiciously can be reported to the police on 101.

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