Elderly residents left shaken after series of cold caller burglaries
PUBLISHED: 19:11 18 January 2019
People are being urged to challenge cold callers after a number of burglars entered Suffolk homes claiming to be police officers.
Police are appealing for residents to be vigilant following a series of distraction burglaries reported in the county this week.
The four incidents, which police say may or may not be linked, happened at properties with elderly residents near Sudbury, Eye and Diss.
In two cases, the offenders demanded entry while claiming to be police officers.
The first incident took place at a property in Sudbury Road, Lavenham on Wednesday January, 16 at about 4.50pm.
A man claiming to be a police officer entered the property without being invited, demanding money from the female resident. He then went into the bedroom of a bed-bound elderly male.
When the female resident went to phone a relative, the suspect left. Nothing was stolen, no force was used and no one was hurt.
Officers are now releasing an e-fit likeness of a man they would like to speak to who was seen in the Lavenham area, as he may have information regarding the incident.
He is described as having a tanned complexion, short dark hair, aged between 30 and 40, over 6ft in height and of a large build.
The second incident happened between 4.50pm and 5.05pm on Thursday, January 17, at a property in The Green in Wickham Skeith.
The suspect knocked on the kitchen window and asked where an amount of money was being kept.
A victim, who is in his 80s, replied to say he didn’t know anything about the money, and was followed back into his home by the suspect.
Following a heated exchange between the pair, the victim offered the suspect money from his wallet – which was refused.
The suspect left without taking anything from the property.
The third incident also happened in Wickham Skeith shortly after 5pm on Thursday afternoon, at a property in Grange Road.
A man claiming to be a police officer knocked on the door and told the victim he belonged to the fraud squad.
He then questioned her regarding a payment for a drive and, when she was distracted, he stole an amount of cash from her purse.
The victim, who is in her 70s, said she would call a family member and the man left.
He is described as white, 6ft, with a large build. He was wearing a black top and had no facial hair.
A fourth incident was also reported on January 17 in Palgrave. It occurred shortly after 5.40pm at a property in Goulds Close.
The victim, who is in his 80s, was at home when he was approached by a suspect who peered through a window, trying to get his attention.
The suspect then went around the back and pushed the victim, taking cash from him.
The victim was unhurt but was left shaken by the incident.
Officers are currently keeping an open mind regarding whether these incidents are linked.
Anyone who witnessed any of these incidents or has information regarding a similar incident should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting the relevant crime reference number: (Lavenham) 37/3158/19, (The Green, Wickham Skeith) 37/3391/19, (Grange Road, Wickham Skeith) 37/3388/19, or (Goulds Close, Palgrave) 37/3398/19.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.”