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Elderly woman conned by bogus gardener

Elderly woman conned by bogus gardener

4:40pm 3rd November 2010

Skipton police have released an E-Fit of a bogus gardener who stole money from an elderly woman.

At approximately 11.45am on Monday 25th October 2010 a man visited the home of an 84 year old woman in Tarn Moor Crescent and offered to prune the trees in her garden.

He handed her a leaflet advertising his business, before agreeing a price of several hundred pounds for his services.

After the victim handed over the money, the man left stating he was going to buy some petrol and never returned.

The suspect is described as white, aged between 30 and 40 years old, 6ft 3in tall with broad shoulders, a muscular build and big feet. He had dark stubble on his face which was flecked with grey.

He was wearing a dark woollen hat, a high-visibility vest and a grey, long-sleeved top.

PC Andrew Bell, of Skipton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

“The victim has been left very distressed by this man’s callous actions.

“I am appealing for the public’s help to trace him before he has the opportunity to try this again.

“If anyone recognises the suspect from the E-Fit or is approached in similar circumstances please contact the police or Crimestoppers.

“I would also like to appeal to residents to be extra-vigilant and ensure that they don’t fall victim to bogus callers.”

Police are offering the following advice to guard against bogus callers:

    • Don’t hand over any money until work has been completed to your satisfaction.
    • Ensure you know exactly who you are dealing with. Check ID and phone the caller’s company to verify who they are.
    • Use a door-chain and don’t let anyone in unless you are completely satisfied that they are genuine.
    • Make arrangements for the caller to return at a later date and ensure that you have a friend or family member with you when they come back.
    • Don’t be pressured into agreeing a price you think is too high – it’s not rude to say no.

Anyone with any information that could help the police with their enquiries is urged to contact PC Andrew Bell, of Skipton Safer Neighbourhood Team, on 0845 60 60 24 7 quoting reference number 12100184004.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more information on guarding against bogus callers visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk

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