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Police issue appeal after phony water engineers burgle Ipswich pensioner's home

PUBLISHED: 19:55 18 April 2019

Suffolk police say a woman in her 70s was burgled by two men pretending to be water engineers in Springhurst Close in Ipswich. Pictures: GOOGLE MAPS

Suffolk police say a woman in her 70s was burgled by two men pretending to be water engineers in Springhurst Close in Ipswich. Pictures: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

A woman in her 70s had money stolen from her purse by two men who called at her Ipswich home posing as water engineers.

The two men knocked on the door of the woman's home in Springhurst Close at around 3pm on Monday, April 15.

One man, who claimed he was conducting a survey, entered the home to “show” the woman how to turn her water off and on under the sink.

The victim became suspicious when the man could not provide identification, who claimed that his colleague - who would later enter - had both.

She then became uneasy when the second man entered the home again prompting her to watch as they tampered with the sink.

At this point she asked both men to leave and after they had gone discovered her handbag had been moved and money taken from her purse.

The first suspect is described as white and wearing a dark suit, while the second, also white, is said to be approximately 5ft 6ins and wearing a high visibility vest.

Following the incident, police have shared a list of tips on how to deal with cold callers:

• Always ask for identification from any unexpected callers and do not to let anyone in if you are not comfortable with whom they are and verify their identity with the company they work for.

• Always use the chain and viewer on your door to see who is calling. Only open the door if you feel comfortable and always keep the chain on.

• Councils and utility companies will generally contact householders by telephone or letter if they plan to carry out repairs rather than make unsolicited calls.

• If you have a back gate ensure that it is locked with a padlock. A slide bolt is not sufficient on its own.

• Ensure that your doors are kept locked when you are in the house.

• If you need carers or family to have access then consider fitting a key safe on the outside wall near to the front door.

• If anyone calls claiming to be from utility companies such as water, gas, electricity or the council do not let them in - unless they can quote to you on the doorstep your personal account number which is found on your bills.

If you are at all suspicious then phone the police immediately.

Those with information that could lead to the identification of the two men should contact South CID at Suffolk police on 101, quoting reference 37/21210/19.

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