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Conman Steals Cash from Elderly Man in York


4:51pm 20th May 2014

York police have issued an urgent appeal and warning following a distraction burglary in York this morning.

At around 11.30am, a man called at the home of an man in his 80s in Bramham Avenue, claiming he was from the “water board” and needed to check his taps.

He got the elderly man to turn on his kitchen taps and empty a basin of water into a drain outside.

During this time, the suspect searched the victim’s house and stole an amount of cash.

The suspect is described as white, aged in his late 20s to early 30s with a tanned complexion, and a small dark moustache. He was around 6ft tall and of very slim build, He was wearing a dark coloured baseball cap, and dark coloured short sleeved shirt, trousers and shoes.

Police have issued the following appeal to members of the public to contact them if;

  • They have seen a man matching his description in the area
  • They believe the suspect has called at their house
  • Anyone who has seen any suspicious vehicles in the area
  • Anyone who recognises the suspect from the description

They have also reiterated their warning to residents not to let anyone into their home who they are not expecting.

Detective Sergeant Fionna McEwan of York CID, said: “Targeting elderly and trusting people in this way, is truly deplorable and I’m sure members of the public share our desire to bring whoever has committed this crime to justice. I am therefore appealing to members of the public to contact us if they have any information which could help our investigation.

“Please also look out for your elderly neighbours, relatives and friends and ensure they stick to our advice of not opening their door to anyone they are not expecting.

 “Please also ensure you keep your doors locked, both front and back, during the hot weather. It is very tempting to leave it open, but opportunist criminals will take advantage of this. And remember, if you’re not sure - don’t open the door!”

Anyone with any information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for York CID. Or email YorkCID@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to pass on information anonymously, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In an emergency or if you feel threatened by a caller at your door, always call 999.


Most callers at your door will be genuine. However, some are bogus, whose aim is to get inside your home to steal from you.

Bogus callers may pose as water, electricity or gas-board workers, council workers or even police officers so they can steal money or property from your home. You can prevent this type of crime if you take precautions.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this crime, remember the following four steps:

  • LOCK all doors - even when you are at home
  • STOP before you open the door, ask them who they are 
  • CHAIN- always use a door chain or spy hole 
  • NOT sure who they are? Don't open the door!

ALWAYS ask the caller for their identification, and check it, before letting them in. Use the phone number in the phone book, not the one on their identity card.

Remember – Not sure? Don’t open the door!
A genuine caller will happily wait outside while you check on them by calling their organisation and or calling a family member or neighbour.

More crime prevention advice can be found at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/boguscallers where you can watch a video describing how a typical bogus caller operates.

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