Bogus workmen steal for pensioner after posing in high-vis jackets

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POLICE are warning people to be on their guard after bogus workmen stole from a pensioner.

The 88-year-old woman victim answered a knock at her door in Houghton on Saturday 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.

Police also believe the same men visited the woman three weeks earlier.

Detective Sergeant Angus Grassie said: “We now have new information to suggest this is linked to an incident with the same resident three weeks prior, where the men visited the woman offering to carry out building work.

“We appeal for anyone in the area who may have been approached by workmen offering roofing or guttering services to contact us.

“It’s believed the men are travelling in a white van which has ladders attached to the roof.

“All three men are described as white, of thin build and wearing old clothing.

“One of the men is described as being older than the other two, aged around 40-years-old.”

Residents are also being reminded to be extra vigilant when dealing with doorstep callers.

Chief Inspector Lisa Hogan added: “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 anyone who may have information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 727 25/04/15 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.