Bogus water board worker steals cash

AN elderly woman in an old peoples' complex was left watching the taps in her bathroom while a bogus official rummaged through her house and made off with a large amount of cash.

AN elderly woman in an old peoples' complex was left watching the taps in her bathroom while a bogus official rummaged through her house and made off with a large amount of cash.

The 86-year-old woman was targeted by a man posing as an official from the water board at around 5pm on Tuesday.

He gained access to the complex at Abbeygate House in St John's Green, Colchester, and went to the pensioner's flat.

Having gained entry and persuaded her to "check" her taps he managed to find and make off with several hundred pounds.


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Yesterday police at Colchester appealed for anyone who might be able to identify the man.

He was described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall and of heavy build. He was clean shaven, wore dark trousers and was aged between 30 and 40.

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However Det Sgt Roger Napier also praised two other elderly people for the way in which they dealt with being targeted by unsolicited callers on the town's Greenstead Estate.

The first happened in Labernum Grove at around 11.30am when a young man offered to do some work on a pensioner's garden.

He immediately began to walk around the back of the house but the potential victim demanded to see his identity.

He responded by saying it was in his van and ostensibly left to collect it, but never returned.

The second happened at around 12.30pm in Primrose Walk when a young man with an Irish accent called on a pensioner and again offered to work on her garden.

However the woman, having heard about similar incidents which resulted in burglaries in the area, refused and watched him as he left towards Hickory Avenue, where he was joined by another man.

The first was described as around 5ft 5ins tall, of slim build and with dark hair brushed back. He wore a knee-length suede jacket.

The man he met was described as around 5ft 7ins tall, with dark hair, jeans and a beige top.

Det Sgt Napier said: "We have two examples here of how to deal with bogus callers.

"They should be challenged and asked to provide identification. If somebody offers to do work in your garden say no thank you – legitimate gardeners are in the book and have ID.

"There is a real danger that unknown people just walking in off the street could either present danger of a burglary or ask for far more money than the work they do is worth."

n Anybody with any information about the unsolicited callers is asked to contact Colchester police on 01206 762212.

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