A PAIR of conmen stole cash from the handbag of an 88-year-old partially sighted woman, after telling her there had been a gas explosion nearby and they needed to get into her home.
The distraction burglary took place at about 5pm on Thursday in Cherrytree Grove, Spalding, when two men went to the victim’s home and said that there had been an explosion nearby which had caused water contamination in the area.
The woman accompanied one man while he ran her taps in the bathroom, leaving the other man alone in the living room.
After they had gone she discovered that cash was missing from her handbag.
Although the victim is partially sighted, she was able to give some details to describe the man she accompanied.
She told officers that he was about 35 and wore a navy blue jumper. She is also convinced that the man was about 5ft 3ins tall.
A police spokesman said: “She’s quite clear that he was 5ft 3ins so that would be fairly distinctive. She also said he was hard to understand because he spoke very fast.
“He spoke English and didn’t have a foreign accent but the victim couldn’t say whether he had a local or regional accent, just that he spoke very quickly.”
Police are urging residents to be vigilant against distraction crimes – and appealed for elderly and vulnerable residents to sign up to their nominated neighbour scheme.
Under that scheme residents have a card which they show to all callers. The card informs them to go to a nominated neighbour who can come back with the seller, check their credentials and stay with the resident while they are there.
The spokesman added: “If people say there has been an explosion you feel you have to do something quickly but with the nominated neighbour you can send them to somebody else. Nine out of ten times if they are not genuine they will just go and if they are genuine they won’t mind.”
Anyone interested in the scheme can call their neighbourhood policing team on 0300 111 0300 and anyone with information about the Cherrytree Grove incident should call the same number quoting incident 363 of June 23.