Police appeal after conmen call

POLICE in Colchester are searching for two conmen who tried to talk their way into a home less than a quarter of a mile from the scene of a bogus caller murder.

POLICE in Colchester are searching for two conmen who tried to talk their way into a home less than a quarter of a mile from the scene of a bogus caller murder.

The two men called on the woman in Sargeant Close, Colchester, at about 2pm yesterday and claimed to be gas workers.

The woman asked for some form of identification but the men, who were travelling in a small white van, refused to show her any and left.

The householder then telephoned the police immediately.


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The two men were aged about 35 years old. One had dark brown-cropped hair and a tan. His accomplice had longer hair and was about 5ft 10ins tall. Both men wore white shirts and dark coloured trousers.

Officers were yesterday trying to trace the men to check their credentials.

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An Essex Police spokesman said: "Householders are advised they could call at other addresses and the public should be on guard."

The incident is not thought to be linked to the death of 90-year-old Thelma Avis, who died on Friday July 4, within four hours of having more than £1,000 stolen from her home in Barn Hall Avenue, Colchester.

The East Anglian Daily Times has offered a reward of £1,000 for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the men responsible for Mrs Avis' death.

We have also re-launched our Safe in Your Home campaign, which has been backed by Mrs Avis' grieving sons, John and Neil.

The grandmother-of-four, who suffered from heart disease, answered her door to a bogus gasman who claimed to be investigating a leak.

He went inside and kept her talking for about 25 minutes until she became suspicious and called her son.

Police believe an accomplice slipped into the house and stole the cash while Mrs Avis was distracted.

Anyone who has any information about the bogus callers should call Colchester police on 01206 762212. Anyone with information about Thelma Avis' death should contact Essex Police on 01277 262220.

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