Warning after conmen target pensioners

PEOPLE in north Suffolk are being warned to be vigilant after seven pensioners were targeted by conmen in four days. The spate of burglaries come just weeks after widow Thelma Avis, 90, died hours after £1,000 was stolen by a bogus gasmen from her Colchester home.

PEOPLE in north Suffolk are being warned to be vigilant after seven pensioners were targeted by conmen in four days.

The spate of burglaries come just weeks after widow Thelma Avis, 90, died hours after £1,000 was stolen by a bogus gasmen from her Colchester home.

Essex Police are treating her death as murder.

The East Anglian Daily Times is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the conmen responsible, and has re-launched the Safe in your Home campaign alongside the Safe and Sound campaign of BBC Radio Suffolk.


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On Saturdaybetween 4.45pm and 4.50pm, a man his mid 20s, with short blond hair and wearing a pink shirt, tie and blue jeans stole £50 after he tricked his way inside a house in Ellough Road, Beccles.

Minutes earlier a man got inside a house in Maples Way, Beccles, and when confronted by a 70-year-old woman said he was carrying out repairs. He left and nothing was stolen.

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At 3.30pm on the same day an 86-year-old woman in Kirkley Road, Lowestoft, answered a knock on her window and was told by a youth that her fence was damaged. When she went out to take a look another youth got inside and stole several hundred pounds cash.

The youths were white and about 16 years old. One was 5ft 8in tall, with light fair hair, of slim build with a broken or bad tooth. The other had sandy coloured hair and was slim.

Fifteen minutes earlier a youth got inside a property in Rochester Road, Lowestoft, through an unlocked door. He was confronted by a 39-year-old man and claimed that his brother had hurt himself. Nothing was stolen.

A day earlierbetween 4.30pm and 5.10pm three youths called at a house in Kirkley Park Road, Lowestoft, and told a 90-year-old man they were distant relatives. They got inside and stole a bottle of sherry.

Between 4.45pm and 4.55pm, on the same day an 87-year-old man saw a youth in the back garden of his Reydon home. He claimed a neighbour's dog had been run over and asked the man for a piece of paper to write a note for the neighbour. As the owner was distracted two other youths got into his home, and stole a metal box containing personal documents.

The three youths were white and aged 15-17 years old. One was 5ft 2in tall, with short dark brown hair and of athletic build. He wore a blue top with writing on it. The second was slim, 5ft tall with short dark brown hair, and wore green clothing. The third was 5ft 2in tall and plump with dark brown hair.

On Thursday, July 24 between 5.50pm and 6.10pm a man and woman tricked their way inside a home in Wingfield Street, Bungay, but nothing was stolen.

Det Sgt Kevin Hayward, of Suffolk police said: "These are despicable crimes, with the offenders preying on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Mr Hayward said people can minimise their chances of being targeted by remembering the stop, chain and check advice.

They should stop and think if they are expecting a caller, put the door chain on, and then check the identity of the person at the door.

"If you have any suspicions don't let them in and call the police straight away.

"We would ask neighbours to keep an eye on older residents and anyone who would like details of the crime prevention measures available can contact their local crime reduction officer for advice," he said.

Anyone with information about the incidents should call police on 01986 835300.

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