Pair steal savings from woman, 91, while she makes them cup of tea
"DESPICABLE" distraction burglars have been preying on elderly people in Henbury.
Two pensioners were targeted on the same day by a pair of criminals who were knocking on doors asking if residents in Marmion Crescent needed garden work doing.
The first victim, a 91-year-old woman, had her £1,000 savings stolen after she let the criminals into her house.
The trusting widow started to make the pair a cup of tea in her kitchen and was distracted by one of the suspects discussing work they could do on the trees in her garden.
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Meanwhile, the other man took an envelope containing the woman's savings.
On the same day it is believed the same men were responsible for fleecing a neighbour out of £450.
She paid the men up front for work but they took the money and never came back.
PC Nick King said: "The 91-year-old victim is very shaken up, upset and has been made to feel like a fool by these despicable criminals.
"Like many elderly residents, she is very trusting and these men have preyed upon that trust.
"Distraction burglaries can be humiliating crimes and leave victims feeling insecure and concerned for their personal safety.
"We would warn people never to keep large sums of cash in their homes but, unfortunately, some people do."
The two suspects, who struck at 1pm on July 11 were white, between 30 and 40 years old, and had Irish accents. They had a vehicle with them but there is no description of that.
Police advice to avoid becoming a victim of bogus callers includes:
â Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation's name or symbol.
â If you don't know the caller, ask to see their identity card, while keeping the door chain on.
â Some public utility services operate a password system. Contact your utility provider – their number will be on your bill.
â If you are still not sure, ask the caller to come back later and phone the organisation or company they claim to represent.
â Bogus callers usually work in pairs. Beware of one distracting you while the other steals your property. The best practice is not to let them in.
â Watch out for anyone who says they are in a hurry. Don't let them pressure you.
â If you have any suspicions at all, don't let them in.
Anyone with information on the crime should call police on 101, quoting log number 75471/12.