Detectives are urging people in Rotherham to be vigilant following three incidents in which men have reportedly tried to con elderly women in the area.
The first incident occurred on Monday 10 June, when a man approached the home of an 72-year-old woman in Thrybergh at between 12 and 2.30pm, claiming to be from the council. He informed the woman that she needed a machine installing in her bedroom, which would cost her £40.00. When the woman then said she didn’t have any money in the house, but her son and carers would be there shortly – he left with no explanation.
The man is described as being white, between 30 and 40 years old, average height, stocky build and clean shaven. He is believed to have been wearing a navy cap and a khaki coloured work jacket.
The second incident took place a short while later, at around 3.20pm in Herringthorpe. A 75-year-old woman reported that a man arrived in a white van. After he offered to do some gardening for her, the woman let the man in to her living room whilst she went upstairs to get some money. After the suspect followed her, the woman challenged him and told him to leave. Nothing is believed to have been stolen.
The man is described as being young, white and wearing beige clothing.
The third incident happened at around 3.30pm. A 75-year-old woman in East Dene was approached be a man who claimed to have been sent to check her drains, stating that neighbours had raised some concerns. As a second suspect distracted the woman, this man is believed to have stolen £6,000 from a bedroom upstairs.
Both men are described as being white. One, in his mid-30’s, around 5ft 6in, dark brown hair and wearing dark clothing. The other, mid 50’s, around 5ft 4in, large build and wearing light clothing and a flat cap.
Detective Inspector Andy Knowles, investigating, said: “Whilst there are differences in these incidents, we are treating them as linked and would ask residents to report any similar incidents to us.
“I’d like to ask residents to be vigilant and be mindful of anyone offering to do work who does not seem genuine. If you have elderly friends of relatives who you think could be vulnerable to incidents like this, please talk to them and ask them to call us to report anything suspicious.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 542 of 10 June 2019.