Bogus callers strike at sheltered homes

SECURITY at a council-owned sheltered housing home could be stepped up after two men conned their way inside and stole cash.More CCTV cameras could be installed at Walnut Tree House in Shrub End Road, Colchester, following the distraction burglary shortly after 2pm on Tuesday.

SECURITY at a council-owned sheltered housing home could be stepped up after two men conned their way inside and stole cash.

More CCTV cameras could be installed at Walnut Tree House in Shrub End Road, Colchester, following the distraction burglary shortly after 2pm on Tuesday.

Two men, described as looking like brothers, ran off after waking one pensioner in his flat and stealing money from another.

Det Sgt Roger Napier of Colchester police, said: “They wormed their way past the security door and told one pensioner they were conducting a survey and he would have to leave his flat.


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“They told him to go and sit in the communal room while they rummaged through his belongings and stole £160 in cash.”

Another pensioner was woken up to find two men in his flat although nothing was taken.

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Steve McNally, sheltered housing manager for Colchester Borough Homes Ltd, which manages the property on behalf of Colchester Borough Council, said he was looking into what happened and could install more cameras as an extra precaution.

The building contains around 24 flats, which are occupied mainly by over-60s, and is run for people wishing to have an element of independent living as opposed to residential care.

A “care scheme manager” lives on site and makes regular checks on the health and safety of occupants, but Mr McNally insisted residents had to be more wary.

“There is a door-entry system, but it is not of the camera-type,” he said.

“We do have CCTV on the premises and this is fed through to a TV in the communal room.

“As any door-entry system, people can con their way in and we are fairly confident that's how this pair managed to do it.

He added: “One of the things we are now looking at is if there's an option to put more cameras on the property. This is a priority - cost will not be an issue.”

The two men were both described as white and in their late teens. One had sandy coloured hair and was wearing a light top and dark trousers while the other was of a smaller build with a broad face and wore a dark top and light trousers.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Colchester police on 01206 762212.

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