In an emergency always call 999

Elderly woman has purse stolen by distraction burglar

Posted on 27th August 2014

A 76-year-old woman had her purse stolen by a burglar who walked into her house after asking for a glass of water.

The victim was at home in Harehill Road, Chesterfield, when a man knocked on her door and asked for the drink.

While she went to the kitchen, the man walked into her living room. The victim later noticed that her purse, containing cash and bank cards, was missing.

The distraction burglar was white, aged between 30 and 40, about 5ft 8in tall, of average build and with dark hair.

He wore dark clothing at the time of the offence, which took place at about 10am on Tuesday, August 26.

The incident has prompted police to warn people to be vigilant if they have unexpected visitors.

Crime prevention advice includes:

  • Consider installing a door chain and make sure you keep your home secure.
  • Do not open your door to anyone who calls without warning, no matter what excuses they give. Genuine callers will not call unannounced – they will arrange an appointment or give written notice about work taking place.
  • Check the identification of any callers and, if they claim to represent a company or utility, call that company and check if they have cold callers in the area.
  • Do not be tempted to leave your house with a caller, even if it is just for a minute and into your garden.
  • If a cold caller is persistent or makes you feel concerned or uncomfortable, call police immediately.

Witnesses or anyone with information on the distraction burglary should call Derbyshire police on 101, quoting crime reference 35883/14.

You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.