AN elderly woman was left lying on the floor in agony for 10 hours after bogus workmen forced their way into her home.
The victim, who is in her 80’s, was shoved to the floor after she opened the door to the conmen, who claimed they were carrying out gardening work in the area, at about 2pm on Monday.
They pushed past her into her home, just off Queen Alexandra Road in Sunderland, and one then pushed her to the floor before the men left empty-handed.
The attack was only reported to police after the woman was found shortly before 11pm that evening.
She was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where she needed treatment for a shoulder injury.
Acting Chief Inspector Paul Stewart, of Sunderland Area Command, said: “This was obviously extremely distressing for the woman and we’re doing everything possible to trace the two men involved.
“Their cowardly actions have resulted in an elderly woman receiving injuries which went untreated for a number of hours and she remains in hospital after being badly bruised.
“I’d urge any witnesses who saw these men in the area at around 2pm on Monday, or who has information about who they are, to get in touch with police. It’s important we trace them as soon as possible.
“We have extra officers in the area to reassure residents, and I’d ask people to speak to them if they have any concerns.”
Police are reminding people to be cautious with anyone who cold calls at their address.
“While in this case the men pushed past the homeowner, I’d like to remind people to be vigilant,” Acting Chief Insp Stewart added.
“This is particularly important for the elderly and vulnerable. Criminals will use any excuse to get into your home – purporting to be a gardener or wanting to do work on your house, or even to use the toilet or wash their hands. It’s important people report any unusual calls to their home, vehicles or people to police so we can investigate.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 1347 18/08/14.
Only last week, doorstep conmen fleeced pensioners out of cash in two separate incidents in the city.
Three men called at a house in Antwerp Road claiming to be workmen and offered to inspect the roof to identify any repairs.
One man asked to use the toilet and after the men left, it was discovered cash had gone missing from the home.
In a separate burglary, a man called at a property in Wayland Square at 5pm, claiming to be selling fruit and veg.
The woman turned the man away but when she went back inside, she realised someone had gone into the back of her home and stolen her handbag which contained cash.
l A YOB who punched an elderly woman to the ground and stole her handbag has been jailed for four years.
Michael Kingshott, 18, targeted his 75-year-old victim as she walked home from the Royal British Legion Club in Meadowfield on the outskirts of Durham City, on June 14.
Durham Crown Court was told Kingshott, of Hollyoak Street, Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, grabbed her throat and punched her in the face, telling her “it could get worse.”
Kingshott took the victim’s handbag containing £28 and fled.
He admitted robbery.