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Bogus burglary - Wigan
Monday 31st October, 2011

Jewellery has been stolen during a bogus burglary in Wigan.

At around 2pm on Saturday 29 October 2011, a man, claiming to be from the water board, told the owner of a home on Spencer Road West, Gidlow he needed to come in as there had been a burst pipe.

The 88-year-old victim let him in and he asked her where the water main was so he could turn it off.

He then asked her to flush the toilet and followed her upstairs.

The man told her to flush it a number of times, making sure the bathroom door was closed.

He thanked her before leaving.

After he had gone, the victim realised two gold rings had been stolen.

The man is described as being white, around 5ft 8in tall and of medium build. He was wearing a dark beanie hat, gloves and was clean shaven.

Police Constable Chris Waddicar from the Priority Crime Team based at Wigan police station, said: “This type of crime is always made worse when an offender deliberately targets an older and vulnerable member of the community.

“The victim has been left devastated that her beloved wedding rings have been stolen and is eager for them to be returned.

“I would ask members of the community to take a number of simple steps which can help you avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime.

“Stop and think before you open the door. If possible, look out of the window or use a door viewer to check whether you know the caller.

“Ask to see an identification card and check it carefully. If you have not got a door bar or chain, ask the caller to push their identity card through the letterbox and check the photograph corresponds to the caller.

“Call the company concerned to verify the caller but do not rely on the number given to you as it may be fake. Look it up yourself in the phone book. If you still have doubts, ask them to call back when either a family member, friend or trusted neighbour can be present. Genuine callers would never wish to cause distress and would be happy to call again.”

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 7203 or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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