CCTV APPEAL: DISTRACTION BURGLARY – BIRKDALE, SOUTHPORT
Merseyside Police have issued CCTV images of a man detectives want to speak to following a distraction burglary against an elderly woman in Southport (images to be added).
The incident happened in the Liverpool Road / Sandon Road area of Birkdale when a man targeted the 88-year-old’s home by pretending to be a bogus repair man.
The offender claimed that her roof tiles needed replacing and demanded she hand over £184 for repairs.
After paying some of the money upfront, the woman agreed for the work to be done but later grew suspicious when she realised the man had not done any of the repairs.
When he returned a few days later on December 6th asking for more money, the woman refused to let him in and said she had called the police. The man then put his foot in the door to stop her closing it, walked into her living room and stole her purse out of her handbag before running away.
Police are now stepping up patrols in the area and CCTV enquiries have led officers to issue this image of a man they want to trace as part of their investigation.
Detective Sergeant Sue Demomme said: “This was a deeply upsetting incident and we are anxious to identify this man to further our enquiries. If anyone recognises him we would like them to get in touch.
“The victim in this incident did the right thing at first in asking the offender to leave however he was peristent and barged his way in to steal her purse.
“Our advice to every resident is to never open the door to someone you don’t know without checking them out first and certainly never hand over money to someone who calls round claiming that repair work needs doing to your home.
“Always use a door chain when opening the door to a stranger, always ask them for identification first, and never hand over money or your bank details. Instead, ask them to leave and if you have any suspicions, call the police.
“I would also like to encourage people to look out for their neighbours this winter, particularly if they are vulnerable or elderly, and report anything untoward to the police.”
For more advice on staying safe visit www.merseyside.police.uk
If anyone has information call Sefton CID on 0151 777 3014 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The street where the incident occurred is not being released as doing so may identify the victim because of her age and may also lead to further offences being committed against her.
Due to techicial difficulties, attachments are currently not working therefore to request the CCTV stills, please call the press office on 0151 777 8566 and we will send the images by email.
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