Security reminder after elderly woman has money stolen in distraction burglary

Posted on 3rd September 2014

A 94-year-old woman had cash stolen from her home by a distraction burglar who had been posing as a window cleaner.

The victim was at home in Wellington Street, Long Eaton, when a man knocked on her door and asked if she wanted her windows cleaned.

She declined and later went out but, when she returned home, she found a note saying the man had carried out the job.

He later returned to collect payment and, as the victim was taking his details, the offender walked into her house.

The victim later discovered that cash had been stolen from her purse.

The offence happened between 4.30pm and 5pm on Monday, September 1. The man first visited the area to ask about window cleaning at about 12pm the same day.

He was white, aged between 20 and 24, about 5ft 2in to 5ft 8in, of slim build and with short, tidy brown hair. He spoke with a local accent and was wearing black trousers. He did not appear to have window cleaning equipment such as a bucket or ladder.

Anyone who saw a man matching that description in the area, or who may have information on the offence, should call Derbyshire police on 101, quoting crime reference 36809/14.

The incident has prompted a reminder of security steps people can take to protect themselves from distraction burglaries.

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.

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