Police are appealing for witnesses after a bogus workman preyed on elderly women in South Ockendon.
At 10.30am on Wednesday, September 8, a suspect knocked at the female victim’s door, and claimed to be from the water board. After going into the house, he asked the victim to run the taps, and whilst she was doing so, he stole an estimated £500 cash before leaving.
At 1.22pm on the same day, an elderly woman from Lime Close, South Ockendon reported that a man of a similar description asked to come in her home to change the electric meter. She asked for ID and he didn’t have any, and she refused him entry.
Investigating officer, DC Dean Batson, said: “We believe both incidents may be linked. Thankfully, the suspect didn’t gain entry the second time, but he got away with quite a significant amount of cash the first time, which must be devastating for the victim.
“We are reminding residents never to let anyone in their home if they are unsure. Official electric and water board workers will always carry identification, which can be verified if you ring the company. Never leave a stranger unaccompanied in your home, and if you are ever in doubt, call us immediately.”
The suspect was a white man, aged 25-30 years and was dressed in black.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact South Ockendon CID on 0300 333 4444 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.