Police warn of ‘despicable’ bogus callers as pensioners duped

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Bogus callers tricked their way into an elderly couple’s home and stole collectable coins.

Police are warning Morley residents to be on their guard after a spate of incidents where callers claim to be from ‘the water board’.

At around 7.20pm last Wednesday (4/6), a man called at a property in Jubilee Street claiming he was from ‘the water board’.

He told the 62-year-old woman there was a leak and that he needed to check the pipes.

Once inside he asked her to remove items from a cupboard under the kitchen sink and then shouted for the woman’s 72-year-old husband to help.

He became suspicious and asked the man to leave but the man went into a bedroom and stole a green cashbox containing collectable coins before running out.

A second man, who the couple had not been aware was in the house, then ran from another bedroom.

They were described as two white men in their thirties.

One was about 5ft 8ins with black hair. He was wearing a dark jacket and dark glasses.

The second man was around 6ft, wearing a fawn hooded top.

The men ran off across Middleton Road towards Gillroyd Parade.

The stolen items included a silver John F Kennedy memorial coin, a large silver coronation coin picturing the Queen on horseback, a ten shilling note and two £1 notes.

Det Insp Andy Welbourn, of Leeds District CID, said: “Criminals who target the elderly and vulnerable in this way are utterly despicable and we are determined to do all we can to find them. We would like to hear from anyone who saw these men in the area or who has any information that can assist us in tracing them, particularly anyone who has been offered these distinctive collectable notes and coins for sale.

“We have had a number of similar incidents recently where bogus callers have been using the story that they are from the water board and checking for leaks. We would urge people to be vigilant and to contact the police immediately if they see anyone acting suspiciously in their street or calling at homes.

“People should never allow strangers into their home if they are not from a company or organisation that is expected for a pre-arranged visit. Keep the door on a chain and ask to see their identification badge and contact the company they claim to work for. Genuine callers will not mind waiting or coming back. If you are in any doubt, contact the police.

“We also ask that people keep an eye out for their elderly neighbours. If you see someone calling on them and you’re suspicious then contact the police straight away.”

Call DC 6113 Emily McCombe via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with any information.