Men use "tree surgeon" over to steal off South Ockendon pensioner

DETECTIVES have appealed for information after an elderly woman in Thurrock was the victim of a distraction burglary by thieves posing as tree surgeons.

Five men called at the woman’s home in South Road, South Ockendon offering to cut trees in her back garden.

But while three of the men distracted the victim, who is aged in her 70s, in the garden two others sneaked into the house and into a bedroom where they took a handbag containing a three figure sum of cash.

The incident happened at about 3.30pm on Tuesday July 5 and the five men involved drove off in a white lorry with a wood chopper or shredder on the back.

DS Phil Moulsher of Grays CID said: "This was a despicable burglary where these five men tricked their way into the woman’s garden then kept her busy looking at the trees while two men got into the house.

"We want to hear from anyone who has information about the men or the lorry. We would especially like to hear from anyone else in the area who might have been approached by these men if they called door to door offering gardening services.”

Anyone with information should contact DS Moulsher on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 and contact the Crimestoppers website.

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