Bogus cold calling thieves target elderly residents in Leasingham and Bassingham

Police are searching for a missing man
Police are searching for a missing man

Residents in North Kesteven are urged to be on their guard following distraction burglaries in Leasingham and Bassingham where elderly residents were targeted by bogus callers posing as utility workers.

According to Lincolnshire Police, on Friday September 2, a man wearing a fake ID card cold-called a woman in her 80’s in Bassingham.

He claimed to be working in the area and said he needed to turn her water off.

A police spokesman said: “While pretending to do so under her kitchen sink, we believe two other men searched the house before making off with jewellery and a purse containing bank cards and the victim’s pension card. Unfortunately the victim was unable to give a description of the suspects.”

On Tuesday September 6, a woman and her husband who live in Leasingham (both in their nineties) were targeted in similar fashion. The men claimed to be from a water company and items were stolen from the property, says the police spokesman. The victims were shaken by the incident and police are investigating.

If you have any information about either offence call 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Lincolnshire Police have given advice to combat the threat of these unwanted callers.

In distraction burglaries, bogus callers try to trick their way into people’s homes to steal money and valuables. They make themselves seem genuine and plausible while your attention is elsewhere.

Bogus callers can often seem genuine and will try to fool you. They often work in pairs; one to keep you talking at the front door while the other tries to access your house from a back door or window. Some might even plead for help, such as asking for a glass of water or access to a telephone.

Before you open the door, look through your spy hole or window. Are you expecting anyone? Do you know them?

Check the identity of the caller before opening the door.

Don’t let any caller pressure you into making a quick decision.

Don’t feel you are being rude or uncaring by saying ‘no’ – your own safety is more important.

For more advice about doorstep crimes visit this website: https://www.lincs.police.uk/get-help-advice/doorstep-crime-and-scams/