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Elderly Selby woman targeted by distraction burglar


3:40pm 1st March 2012

Selby police are investigating after an elderly woman was burgled by a bogus water official.

Officers are asking local communities to be on their guard against cold callers and not to open their door if they don't know who is calling.

They are also asking residents who have elderly or vulnerable residents  living close by,  to be observant to callers at their homes.

Around 3pm on Wednesday 29th February 2012, a man called at the home of elderly woman in D'Arcy Road in Selby. He claimed to be from the water board and needed to be inside her home.

Once inside the house, he asked the elderly victim to turn on the taps in the bathroom and keep an eye on them, he then asked her to empty some bowls form under the sink. Following the incident, the woman discovered an amount of cash had been taken from her home.

The man is described as aged around 35, tall, with short, straight, dark hair and a round face.  He was wearing a blue checked jacket, black trousers, black shoes and black gloves.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw a man matching his description in the area of D'Arcy Road or has any other information which could help the investigation to come forward.

Investigating officer, DC Carol Kirk of Selby CID, said:

"Targeting elderly people in this way is one the most deplorable and cowardly crimes we have to deal with. Elderly people are often very trusting and these criminals prey on this, taking advantage of their polite and trusting nature.

"I urge residents not to allow anyone into their home who they are not expecting or are unsure who they are. You can ask them to wait outside while you check their identity with the company they claim to be from. A genuine caller will be happy to wait. But if you are not sure, simply do not answer the door.

"I am appealing to relatives and neighbours of elderly people to convince them that it is not impolite to refuse to allow anyone into their home. If they are not sure who is at the door, please do not open it. "

Anyone with any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Selby CID.

Or, you can pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

More information about bogus callers is available on the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/crimeprevention

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