16 May 2019
Officers investigating a distraction burglary in Ferndown are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
At around 1.20pm on Monday 13 May 2019 the victim, a local woman aged in her 90s, was approached by a man on Victoria Road at the junction of Albert Road. He told her he was doing work at a neighbouring property.
He said that he had noticed her property needed work and offered to do it for her but said he would need £500 up front for materials.
The woman said she only had £200, which she gave to the man. He said a friend would show her the parts of the shed and fence that needed looking at while he went to get a receipt.
Another man arrived at the address and started taking the victim round to other parts of the house while the other man is believed to have gone inside and taken at least £550 from the victim’s handbag, which was in the lounge.
A similar suspicious incident occurred at around 12.15pm on the same day involving a man aged in his 80s. The victim was approached by a man near his home in Victoria Road who said he had been working on a neighbour’s property and they had recommended he contact the victim to do some work on his chimney.
The man said he had already been on the victim’s roof and done some work at a cost of £270 but would need a further £90 to finish it off. He tried to persuade the man to return home and give him the money but the victim said he had to go out.
He asked for the man’s phone number so he could arrange for him to come round and collect the money and was under the impression he was going back to complete the work.
When the victim returned home later he saw no work had been done to his chimney. He did not have any further contact with the man.
The man was described as white, around 30 years old, about five feet nine inches tall and clean shaven. He was wearing a baseball cap and blue zipped-up top.
Police Constable Matt Brennan, of East Dorset police, said: “We do believe this incidents are linked and are carrying out a number of enquiries to identify the men involved. We have also visited the victims to offer reassurance and advice.
“I would urge anyone with information about these incidents to contact us. I am also appealing for anyone who was driving in the area of Victoria Road near to the junction with Albert Road between around 11.30am and 12.15pm on Monday 13 May 2019 and has dashcam fitted to their vehicles to send us their footage as it may help us to identify the suspects.
“Finally, I would like to ask residents to be vigilant and not be forced or coerced into commissioning work by people who turn up unexpectedly even if you are told it's urgent."
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 occurrence number 55190071826. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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