23 December 2016
Detectives are appealing for the public’s help to find a man responsible for a distraction theft in Poole.
At around 1.30pm on Wednesday 21 December 2016 a man knocked on the door of an address in Heath Avenue claiming that he was from the council and needed to check the outside fence for maintenance.
The man convinced the elderly victim to go out in to her garden to look at the fence.
During this time, the offender stole the woman’s handbag from the house and ran out of the front door.
The offender is described as white with a very pale complexion, aged in his late 20s to early 30s, approximately five feet ten inches tall and with dark hair. He was wearing a light-coloured body warmer over a dark top with lines down the sleeves and dark jeans.
Detective Inspector Neil Wright, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This was a horrible crime on an elderly woman in her home.
“I would urge anyone who believes they saw a man matching the description in the area during the relevant time or anyone with information to contact us.
“Victims of bogus callers or distraction burglaries are usually elderly and live by themselves and I'd urge everyone to help reduce the chance that the people you care about and your elderly neighbours are subject to this type of crime.
“Do not buy, sell or sign up to any work on the doorstep no matter how urgent they say the work is. If you are suspicious of the caller’s intentions, tell them to go away and call a family member or neighbour and inform the police. If they won’t leave, then call 999."
Members of the public should consider the following advice when answering the door:
LOCKED – Is the back door locked?
STOP – Am I expecting anyone?
CHAIN – Put the chain on BEFORE opening the door.
CHECK – Ask for the caller’s identification. Shut the door leaving the caller on the doorstep and phone the number in the phone book NOT the one on the card they give you, as this could be an accomplice around the corner – especially if it is a mobile number. A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you do this.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101, quoting incident number 21:197. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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