Bogus Callers Target More Elderly Residents

Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Police in South Kent are investigating two more crimes where bogus callers have targeted elderly residents in sheltered accommodation - this time in the Dover area.

At 5 pm on Monday (14 Jan) Fitzwalter Court in The Linces area of Dover was targeted by two bogus callers claming to be police officers. The offenders left when they were confronted by some residents.

And then just after 6 pm the same evening an 80-year-old lady was having a nap in her armchair at her home in Manley House, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, when a man entered her room pretending to be a police officer and asking where she kept her money. He stole £100.

It follows two similar incidents in the Folkestone and Hythe area on Friday night and witnesses have given similar descriptions of two men wearing navy blue fleece type jackets. Police believe all these crimes have been committed by the same offenders.

At 4.45 pm on Friday (11 Jan) two men entered an 83-year-old woman's flat at Hanover Court, Whitegates Close, Hythe, claiming to be police officers. They claimed some money had been found and asked her where she kept her cash. The men left when she made it clear she did not have cash in her flat.

Both offenders are described as white men. One was aged in his early 30s, 5ft 9in tall, of slim build, with short dark hair. The other was younger than the first man and of chubbier build with short dark hair.

An hour later, at 5.45pm, an 86-year-old man was tricked into letting two men into his flat at John Bowley House in Cheriton after they told him they needed to get in to turn off the water supply as his neighbour had a burst pipe.

When the men had gone the resident noticed around £1000 cash had been taken.

The victim has managed to describe one of the offenders as a white man, 5ft 9in tall, aged in his early to mid 20s, of slim build, with dark hair, and was wearing a dark blue suit and was very well dressed.

Police community support officers (PCSOs) and KCC Wardens have been in the areas where these offences occurred to hand out leaflets and give advice to residents about not letting anyone into their home without double checking the identity of each caller first.

A Police spokesman said: "It would be helpful if people with elderly relatives and neighbours could remind them to use their door chains and to check the identity of everyone calling at their home. Be suspicious of anyone who calls trying to create a sense of urgency about a crime or burst water pipes."

"We also run the nominated neighbour scheme where a vulnerable person shows a message card to every caller which refers them to a nominated friend or neighbour. For more information about this contact Sally Coleman on 01304 218151."

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