Warning after fake workmen target older people in Sunderland

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DOORSTEP conmen have fleeced pensioners out of cash in Sunderland.

Police are appealing for information after two distraction burglaries in Sunderland on Wednesday.

Between 1.50pm and 2.50pm, three men called at the address of an elderly woman in Antwerp Road, claiming to be workmen and offering to inspect the roof to identify any repairs.

One man asked to use the toilet while the other two continued talking to the householder. After the men left, it was discovered cash had gone missing from the property.

The first man is described as in his 50s or 60s, plump and with grey hair. He was wearing a white and blue checked shirt and a black cap.

The other two men were in their 30s or 40s, with dark hair. One was wearing a black T-shirt and the other a dark fleece.

They were travelling in a white van with ladders on the top and side.

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.

The man is described as between 25 and 35, about 5ft 5ins tall, slim, with a gaunt face and unshaven. He had dark, unkempt hair and was wearing a jumper.

Detective Sergeant Graeme Flaxen, from Sunderland CID, said: “We would ask anyone who saw the men involved in both of these incidents, either in the street or nearby, to contact us.

“I’d also urge people who have an unexpected caller, particularly one that rouses their suspicions, to ask them to come back when they have someone with them at their home. A genuine caller will not mind coming back later or having their credentials checked.

“ID should always be checked and details can be verified by telephoning the company the caller says they are from.

“We would also ask people to consider their neighbours who are elderly or vulnerable and whether any visitors they have may be unexpected or behave in a way which causes concern.”

Anyone with information is asked to ring police on 101 ext 69191, quoting log numbers 733 and 1063 13/08/14, or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.