Warning after thief distracts householder

Residents are being urged to be on their guard from ‘distraction burglaries’ after an elderly woman was targeted.

A man visited an address in Longbenton between 2pm and 3pm on Wednesday, February 11, and purported to be a friend of a relative.

Once inside, the householder – a woman in her 90s – was distracted and police believe cash was stolen before he left the address.

Police are reminding residents to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to officers straight away.

Neighbourhood Inspector Ray Smith said: “It’s important residents don’t let anyone into their home who they don’t know, even if this person says they need a drink or to use the toilet, or claiming to be a friend of a friend or relative.

“If in doubt call police.

“Any genuine caller from a company or organisation will be more than happy to wait outside while their credentials are checked, or to come back later when there is someone else present.

“It’s also vital people make sure their elderly relatives or neighbours have this advice – sometimes callers can be intimidating and they are well within their rights to refuse entry to their home, and to call police if they feel vulnerable.”

“We’re carrying out enquiries into this incident and extra patrols are taking place in the area to reassure local people and ensure advice is passed on.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 684 11/02/15.