An elderly Crosspool woman had her purse stolen by a man posing as a workman on Thursday.
The man arrived at her address at around 11.40am, saying he needed to check the water pressure. He asked the pensioner for a cup of tea, which she went to make for him. When he went to leave, she found her purse had been taken.
The suspect is described as white, tanned, slim and between 6ft and 6ft 2ins tall. He was clean-shaven, had brown eyes and was wearing a jacket described as orange and industrial-looking, as well as a hard hat.
Inspector Alexandra Murthi said: “Distraction burglaries can be very distressing for vulnerable and elderly people, who unfortunately are often the victims of such crimes.
“While not wanting to frighten residents unnecessarily, we feel it is important for the community to be aware of bogus officials operating and some of the tactics that have been employed by bogus callers in the past.”
Members of the public are reminded to:
- Always keep the front and back doors locked at all times, even when at home
- Think about whether you are expecting anyone and look through the window before answering the door
- Always check ID carefully and contact the company to see if that person should be at your house. Some companies use a password system, which the caller should give when they arrive. If in doubt, do not let the person into your house I
Inspector Murthi added: “People should not feel rude for saying no or for not answering the door to someone they do not know.
“We would encourage anyone, if they think they may have been a victim of this type of crime or an attempt has been made, to contact the police on the numbers below.”
There was similar incident earlier on that day in Netherthorpe. Anyone with any information on distraction burglaries should call South Yorkshire Police’s non-emergency number on 101.