Distraction burglars target 97-year-old woman in her Thornbury home
A 97-YEAR-old woman had cash stolen from her bedroom when she became the victim of distraction burglars.
At about 6pm last Saturday, a man knocked on the pensioner's door in Blakes Road, Thornbury, and claimed to be from a water company.
He said he needed to look at her pipes to resolve a problem at a neighbour's address.
Avon and Somerset police spokeswoman Jenny Bigwood said: "The victim allowed the man into her home and stayed with him the whole time.
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"While she was with him, another unknown man entered her home, went upstairs, and took cash from a jewellery box and further cash from her purse."
The suspect who knocked on the door was white, aged 20-22, 5ft 5ins tall, of medium build, with light-brown, short hair.
He was wearing blue jeans and a blue anorak and had a cord round his neck with a badge.
Police have said there have been several other similar incidents in the Thornbury area and they are advising people of the following:
•If you're not sure who is at your door, don't open it or let anyone into your home.
•Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or on a bill. Don't use any telephone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.
•Genuine callers won't mind making an appointment for a date when you can have someone with you. This gives you time to check their identity too.
•Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the visitor.
•Many service providers provide password schemes and it can be helpful to sign up to these. When unannounced callers knock at your door they should know the password if they are genuine.
•Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
•Where possible, have a safety chain fitted and always attach the chain before opening the door to strangers.
•If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a telephone call, claims to have lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or pen and paper, for example – don't invite them into your house. If you really want to offer help, make them wait outside and while you are away from your door close and lock it.
•Remember, it's your doorstep, your decision.
Anyone who can help solve the crime should call South Gloucestershire CID on 101.