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Pensioners suffer terrifying ordeal

PUBLISHED: 19:46 21 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

By Rebecca Sheppard

AN elderly couple were forced to endure a terrifying ordeal when three men posing as police officers ransacked their home.

The pair, both aged in their 80s, were left severely shaken after the burglary on Thursday evening.

By Rebecca Sheppard

AN elderly couple were forced to endure a terrifying ordeal when three men posing as police officers ransacked their home.

The pair, both aged in their 80s, were left severely shaken after the burglary on Thursday evening.

The husband answered a knock at the door of his home in Copford, near Colchester, shortly before 8pm to find the men standing outside.

One shouted “Police” and held up a piece of paper, which appeared to have a copy of the Essex Police crest on it.

The men then shoved their way into the house and pulled a cordless phone from the hand of the frail pensioner. They demanded money and ransacked the house before fleeing, only taking the couple's telephone.

Detective Constable Shaun Hudson, of Colchester police, said: “The victims were put through a frightening ordeal at the hands of these callous men. It is important they are caught before they strike again.”

The man who brandished the fake police document was described as white, aged in his 40s, 5ft 10in tall and of medium build. He was clean-shaven, with short, dark, straight hair and wore a long black coat and a white T-shirt.

His two accomplices were both white and wore woolly hats pulled low over their foreheads.

The pensioners did not get a good view of the men's getaway car, but it was possibly a dark-coloured Rover 213.

Police repeated their advice to the public to stay on guard against bogus callers and the ploys they use to get into their homes.

Anyone who is suspicious about unexpected callers at their doors should refuse entry and call 999 immediately.

Essex Police launched Operation Grizzlybear earlier this year to crack down on bogus callers conning their way into the homes of the vulnerable and elderly.

Detective Sergeant Roger Napier, of Colchester police, said: “It is not common for people to pose as police officers to get in the door, but it is more likely they will trick their way in as utility workers.

“This incident is even worse than those offences as it is based on the pretext of 'We're stronger than you', which leaves the victims feeling helpless.”

The East Anglian Daily Times has launched a Safe in Your Own Home campaign to highlight public awareness of bogus callers.

It is also offering free information cards to people so they have advice at hand if unknown callers confront them.

The laminated cards are available from the EADT offices at 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

n Anyone with information about the Copford incident should contact Colchester police on 01206 762212.


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