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Two bogus burglaries in Wigan
Saturday 16th September, 2006

Police in Wigan are warning residents to be vigilant after two reports of bogus burglaries on 11 and 12 September.

At about 3pm on Monday 11 September a man knocked on the front door of a bungalow on Kendrick Place in Scholes. Before anyone answered he went round to the back and knocked on the back door. The 58-year-old homeowner answered the back door to the man who claimed to work for social services. He said he was there to carry out some work in the bathroom and the woman let him into the bungalow.

She showed him into the bathroom and he began to take measurements. He left the bathroom briefly and it is believed he went into the living room and stole the woman's purse from her handbag.

The man then made his excuses saying he would return the following day and then left the bungalow.

He is described as being white, between 5ft 5ins and 5ft 7ins tall, of medium build with short, but not shaved, dark hair. He is thought to be between 45 and 55-year-old. He was wearing a navy blue jacket and trousers and black shoes.

The following day, Tuesday 12 September, a man with a similar description was seen hanging around on Smalley Street in Standish with another man. The other man is described as being white, 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build with scruffy grey hair. He was wearing a sleeveless fluorescent jacket and blue jeans.

The man in the fluorescent jacket went to a ground floor flat on Smalley Street between 4.15pm and 4.30pm. He told the 83-year-old woman he was from the water board and needed to check the water pipes. The woman allowed him into the kitchen and he opened a number of cupboards and moved the kitchen table across the kitchen door to make space to supposedly look for the water pipes. It is believed while he was doing this a second offender walked into the flat and stole money from the woman's purse in the living room. The man in the kitchen made a call on his mobile phone before leaving the flat. The woman later realised an amount of money had been stolen from her purse.

It is thought the second man is the person who was seen on the street earlier and is also the offender from the day before.

Police are linking these two burglaries and believe it is the same people who are responsible

Anyone with information about either of these incidents is asked to contact police on 0161 856 9188 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents are reminded to be vigilant about letting strangers into their homes. If people don't feel comfortable about a caller coming into their home they don't have to let them in. Most representatives from the council, social services or reputable organisations will usually make an appointment before calling and they should always show authentic identification. If anyone has concerns about a caller they can contact the police on 0161 872 50 50.

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