Bogus callers strike in Houghton

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POLICE are advising residents to be on their guard after an 88-year-old woman was the victim of a theft in Houghton today.

The victim answered a knock at her door from three men who offered to carry out some work to her house. One of the men came into the house and money was taken from the woman’s purse.

It is believed the three men may have been in a white van and wearing high-visibility jackets.

Chief Inspector Lisa Hogan said: “Callers who turn-up unannounced, whether they’re claiming to be carrying out work or selling something, should always be treated with caution.

“It’s a timely reminder for people to be vigilant. Always get quotes from a number of companies before agreeing to work being done, and check identities of workmen and the company’s credentials.

“Never agree to work being done by people who cold call at your home, and never leave people alone in the house, even for a few seconds. I’d also advise to move out of sight any cash or valuables.

“Genuine callers will not mind being asked to come back at a different time so their identification can be checked or while arrangements are made for a relative or friend to be present when they return.”

“People should also look out for elderly relatives and neighbours and report any suspicious people or vehicles they see in their community to police. If in doubt contact officers.”

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and police ask for anyone who may have information to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 727 25/04/15 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.