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Elderly targeted by bogus police officers
BOGUS police officers who have targeted the home of two elderly people have been described as “cowardly and despicable”.
A man in his 70s was at his home at Stump Cross, in Guisborough , east Cleveland, when two men wearing dark blue fleeces and black baseball caps with the word Police emblazoned on them entered his property.
One of the men showed him a card, stating it was police identification.
The men left the property a short time later, having stolen the pensioner’s wallet.
In a separate incident, two burglars dressed as police officers entered the home of an 81-year-old woman in Thirsk , North Yorkshire, and stole money and jewellery.
The men were also wearing baseball caps with the word Police on them and had dark blue or black clothing. As well as cash, they stole a gold signet ring with the letter R on it.
Police have not revealed whether they are linking the incidents, but both took place on Friday.
A description of those involved in the Guisborough incident said that one of the men was aged between 30 and 35, about 5ft 9in and was stocky.
He had tanned skin and black stubble and spoke with what sounded like a Welsh accent.
The second man was described as well built and about the same age.
Detective Constable Karl Middlemiss, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Distraction burglaries are some of the most cowardly and despicable crimes we come across. The offenders target the elderly and vulnerable in our communities, often leaving them devastated and feeling insecure in their own homes.
“If you have any doubts about someone claiming to be a police officer, make them wait outside and call us on 101, a genuine police officer will not be offended and will be happy to wait outside. If they refuse to leave or if you feel threatened, call 999 immediately.”
Police also advised homeowners to use a door chain or door bar when answering, to always check for identification and not to use a telephone number given by the caller.
Detective Constable Andy Paice, from Redcar and Cleveland CID, said: “If you are not comfortable, ask the caller to return at a later date, making sure someone is with you when they come back.
“Clearly, we cannot have offenders impersonating police officers and stealing from people, so it is important that members of the public come forward with information so that we trace these two men as soon as we can.”
Contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.