Police praise elderly for stopping conmen

PUBLISHED: 14:24 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:59 31 May 2010

DISTRACTION burglars struck in villages in the Saffron Walden area last week. Two men purporting to be from the now defunct Water Board knocked at the door of a house in Station Road, Wendens Ambo, just after 1pm last Tuesday. The men asked the elderly ho

DISTRACTION burglars struck in villages in the Saffron Walden area last week.

Two men purporting to be from the now defunct Water Board knocked at the door of a house in Station Road, Wendens Ambo, just after 1pm last Tuesday.

The men asked the elderly homeowner to switch off his water and requested that they enter his house, but the resident refused.

He then saw the two men approach his neighbour's house, where they were also refused entry.

One of the men was described as white, 5ft 4in tall, of medium build, with short, dark hair and wearing dark clothing.

The other was also white and of medium build, 6ft tall with short, fair hair and wearing light or beige-coloured clothes.

Saffron Walden Sgt, Ashley Seymour, said: "The action of the residents was spot-on.

"If you have any doubts whatsoever about someone who's calling, even if they have ID, ring the company that they say they're from, or call us before letting them in.

"We will always be happy to come out and confirm the caller's identification.

"Most companies offer a password service, where a caller will be able to prove his identity by saying a password that you have set up.

"Elderly people in particular are often targeted - if you have any doubts at all, give us a call."

Also at about 1pm last Tuesday, a resident of Chrishall High Street witnessed two men running out of his neighbour's house.

The pair had forced entry into the property, but left empty-handed.

In Highfields, Debden, at about 1.40pm on the same day, two men deceived an elderly man in order to steal more than £100.

The men said that they were from the Water Board and requested to be let into the victim's house.

Once inside, one distracted the homeowner while the other searched for money. They left with £110 cash.

The descriptions given of the men match those of the men who attempted to steal from the Wendens Ambo residents.

Sgt Seymour said: "These incidents are being linked and investigated by CID officers.

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