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Pensioners conned in Tang Hall and Clifton


4:55pm 26th January 2011

York police are increasing patrols in Tang Hall and Clifton after bogus callers have conned three elderly residents.

In each case, in the last week, the offenders posed as workmen.

The pensioners handed over cash, in what the police discribe as "under false pretences"

Officers will now be visiting residents and handing out leaflets containing crime prevention advice.

Detective Sergeant Alan Rowan, of York CID, said:

"Incidents where offenders are tricking elderly people into giving them money under false pretences are truly sickening crimes which often have a lasting impact on the victims.

"The individuals who commit this type of offence are devious and cowardly and we will be working with residents and local partners to ensure that people know how to guard against bogus callers.

"It is important not to let anyone into your home unless you are certain you know who they are and that you can trust them.

"Ask callers to your property to provide ID, genuine callers will be happy to do so and won't mind waiting if you need to phone their company to verify their details.

"If you are at all suspicious, don't let anyone in to your house and contact the police immediately."

DS Rowan also asked people to keep and eye on elderly family members and neighbours and warned residents not to agree to work being done if it wasn't pre-arranged.

He added:

"I would advise people to be especially wary if someone says they have been sent to do some work at your home, without any prior notification.

"Local agencies, such as the council, will not carry out repairs on your house without telling you first, and reputable companies will not approach you for work, they will wait for you to contact them.

"I would also appeal to people to keep an eye on the more vulnerable members of the community and help them understand the dangers of letting strangers into their homes."

Recent incidents

On Friday 21st January 2011 a 74 year old woman was stopped by two men while walking along Shipton Road. They claimed to know her nephew, who had asked them to carry out some roof repairs at her property in Clifton.

They gave her a lift home and she handed over a sum of cash before they left and never returned.

The men are believed to be in their 40s and one of them mentioned the fact that he had come from Easingwold. They were accompanied by a woman and also had a young child in the vehicle with them.

A further incident occurred at around 12.45pm on Tuesday 25th January 2010, when a 72 year old man was visited at his home on Tang Hall Lane, by a man who said he was there to fix his guttering.

The victim stated that he had already arranged the repairs with another builder. However, the suspect replied that his father had sent him to do the work on his behalf and needed money for materials.

Believing that the man was from the same building firm as he had arranged the repairs with, the victim handed over some money and the offender made off towards Melrosegate in a large silver or white car.

He is described as white, aged in his 40s and was wearing a blue anorak.

Around 20 minutes later a couple in their 70s reported that a man had visited their house on Fifth Avenue, claiming to be a council official.

He said he was there to fix their roof and if they paid the money up front, the council would reimburse them next week.
The victims handed over a large sum of cash and the man returned to his car under the pretence of collecting some paperwork.

He never returned and left towards Melrosegate in a silver saloon car.

The suspect is described as white, in his mid 20s, with a chubby build and a fat face. He was wearing a navy blue coat with a ripped pocket.

He was accompanied by another, slightly older man, who was waiting in the car. He had brown hair and was wearing jeans and a brown shirt.

Anyone who would like to report a suspicious caller can contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Advice on guarding against bogus callers and officials can be found on the North Yorkshire Police website

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