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Warning over cold callers after pensioner's home ransacked

PUBLISHED: 09:59 05 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:59 05 August 2015

Investigation into alleged bus assault halted

Investigation into alleged bus assault halted

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People in Gravesend, Medway and Swale warned

Police are warning people in Gravesend to be wary of cold callers after a pensioner had her purse stolen.

The woman, in her 80s, was at home in Elm Road on Tuesday, July 21 when a man called to say he was working on a broken water pipe nearby and needed to check her water.

After he left, she realised that her door was damaged, her house had been ransacked upstairs and her purse, which had £50 in, had been stolen.

Similar incidents, both thought to involve two men, were reported in Chatham and Sittingbourne – and in both of those the victims lost around £1,500.

One of the suspects is white, around 30 years old, stocky and clean shaven, with brown cropped hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt.

Detective Sergeant Chris Dovey, from Kent Police’s burglary team, explained: “Some cold callers try to trick their way into your home to steal your valuables; this is called distraction burglary.

“Distraction burglars often work in pairs; while one person distracts you the other tries to get into your home. Opportunist criminals also use the hot weather to get into homes when doors and windows are left open.

“Always check the identity of anyone who claims to be doing work and needing access to your home. If you’re unsure, shut the door and phone the company to check they are legitimate. Look up the number online or in a phone book rather than using a number the cold caller gives you. If the caller is genuine they will not mind waiting while you check.

“I would encourage people to let their elderly neighbours and family know about our crime prevention advice to help prevent them becoming the latest victim.”

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