Elderly woman thrown to floor during bogus caller raid in Sunderland

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A WOMAN in her 80s was knocked to the ground in a bogus caller incident in Sunderland.

Police were called to house just off Queen Alexandra Road in Sunderland after the elderly victim was left needing hospital treatment.

At about 2pm that day the woman had answered the door to two men purporting to be doing gardening work in the area.

They pushed passed her into the house, and one of the two men then pushed her to the floor. They then left, it’s not believed anything was stolen, however, enquiries are still ongoing.

Acting Chief Inspector Paul Stewart, 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.

Acting Chief Inspector Stewart added: “While in this case the men pushed past the homeowner, I’d like to remind people to be vigilant.

“This is particularly important for the elderly and vulnerable, and people should look out for their relatives and neighbours to make sure they have the right advice.

“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.

“If you aren’t expecting a call then ensure you ask to check their identification or call the company - any genuine caller will be happy to wait or come back while you check their credentials.

“Look through a spy hole or window to see who is there before you open the door, or put the door on a chain and keep it on while talking to the caller. If you are not sure then don’t let them in and call the police.

“It’s important people report any unusual calls to their home, vehicles or people in their community to police so we can investigate.”

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 1347 18/08/14, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more crime prevention advice visit the Northumbria Police website at http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention