OAP frightens off bogus callers

A BRAVE pensioner has spoken of the moment she came face to face with two bogus callers in her house - and frightened them away.Daphne King, 91, was one of three elderly women to be targeted by callous conmen across the county in a three-hour period on Saturday.

A BRAVE pensioner has spoken of the moment she came face to face with two bogus callers in her house - and frightened them away.

Daphne King, 91, was one of three elderly women to be targeted by callous conmen across the county in a three-hour period on Saturday.

The crimes - condemned by police as “despicable” - come just eight days after 90-year-old Thelma Avis died of a heart attack following a bogus caller incident at her Colchester home.

Mrs King, who lives in a village between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, told the EADT yesterday how two young men simply walked into her house through an insecure side door at 2pm.


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“They just walked in,” she added. “They asked me for a pen and a sheet of paper but I never answered them.

“They were both looking around and so I began to lose my temper and I shouted at them to get out.

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“I was very angry because they were up to no good - I shouted as loud as I could and they left. I think it scared them off.

“I've got two good lungs and I'm not afraid to use them.”

Mrs King also told of the effect the incident has had on her, and voiced her support for the EADT's Safe In Your Home campaign, which was re-launched following the death of Mrs Avis.

“It was quite scary,” she said. “I couldn't forget about it when I went to bed. I just kept wondering what they wanted.

“People who do things like that to old people are terrible. It is very important that other people remember to lock their doors as well because these people are always after something. I'm going to keep my eye out now.”

Police officers are also supporting the EADT's campaign, which hopes to raise awareness of the precautions elderly and vulnerable people should take when strangers call at their homes.

“These offenders are deliberately targeting elderly members of our community, as they are perceived to be more vulnerable and trusting,” said Det Sgt John Brocklebank, of Suffolk police.

“These are despicable offences and will not be tolerated. We would appeal to people to help ensure their elderly friends or relatives do not become victims of this crime and talk to them about the stop, chain and check code. It could prevent the heartache of having valuables stolen.”

During Saturday's first incident in Bury St Edmunds - which police are linking to the attempt at Mrs King's home - two young men approached a 91-year-old woman's home in Hanover Close at around 1pm.

One of the men distracted the woman while, it is believed, the second entered her house and stole money.

In both cases, the men are described as white, around 5ft 8ins tall and of medium build. They were aged in their late teens or early twenties, and one wore a suit style jacket.

During the third incident, a 77-year-old woman's handbag, containing glasses, cash and bankcards, was taken by a man and woman who called at her home in London Road, Ipswich.

The duo conned their way into her house after asking for a pen and paper.

The female caller is described as white, 5ft tall and of medium build. She was in her early twenties and had shoulder length hair, a pale complexion and freckles. She wore a turquoise top and dark bottoms.

Her male accomplice was white, around 5ft 7ins tall and of thin build. He was also in his early twenties, had dark brown hair and a small moustache.

Anyone with information on the burglaries should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or Suffolk police on 01284 774100.

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