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Bogus burglaries - Wigan
Tuesday 15th January, 2008

Police are appealing for witnesses after two pensioners became victims of bogus officials in Wigan.

At 10.20am on Monday 14 January 2008, a man called at a house in Harvey Lane, Golborne.

He told the 81-year-old householder that he was delivering garden products to her home and asked to use her bathroom. No products were delivered and the offender distracted the elderly woman and stole cash from her purse before leaving.

On the same day at approximately 11.35am a man knocked on the door of a house in Eton Way, Orrell, claiming he had put compost in the 83-year-old woman's garden.

She disputed this and he asked to use her bathroom. She let him into the house and she disturbed him as he rummaged through drawers in her bedroom.

He stole the pensioner's purse.

The offender is described as white, about 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10 ins tall. He is aged in his 40s and is of stocky build with stubble on his face and a vacant look. He was wearing a green bobble hat, a green woollen jumper and dark trousers.

Sergeant David Lamb, of Wigan Police station said: "The victims in these cases were clearly targeted because of their age and vulnerability.

"While I want to warn people in the borough that they must be vigilant, I also would like to reassure them that we take reports of this kind extremely seriously.

"I would encourage people to alert the police to any suspicious callers you might have, even if nothing is stolen, as the information you can give us may be the key to catching these people.

"You must not let anyone into your house if you don't feel comfortable doing so. Genuine callers would never wish to cause distress, and would be happy to call again at another time when someone else was present. They will always carry identification and will be happy to show it to you on request. If they don't, don't let them in.

"I would always urge people to ask for some form of identification if they get an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from a company."

Anyone with any information should call police on 0161 856 7118 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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