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Bogus window cleaners target elderly in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 17:43 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:54 02 July 2010

David Bale

Bogus window cleaners targeted elderly people in two linked incidents in nearby streets just south of Norwich city centre, police said.

Bogus window cleaners targeted elderly people in two linked incidents in nearby streets just south of Norwich city centre, police said.

A purse containing cash was stolen from an 87-year-old woman at the Norwich City Council-run sheltered housing scheme in Rowland Court, off Queens Road.

The woman had found a man in her lounge asking for a glass of water, and later discovered her handbag had been moved and her purse was missing. She said the same man had asked to clean her windows a few days before.

The second incident happened at Corton Road, off Bracondale, where a woman was woken by an unknown man who came out of her bedroom.

When challenged, he said he was a window cleaner touting for business, but the 78-year-old later found her purse was also missing from her handbag which had been in the kitchen.

Both incidents happened between 3pm and 4pm on Sunday, April 18.

Detective Constable Steve Matthews said: “We are investigating these incidents and believe they are linked. I would like to take this opportunity to urge householders, especially the elderly, to remain vigilant.

“This is a despicable type of crime that preys on the elderly and vulnerable and I would appeal to people to look out for vulnerable householders living nearby and to be vigilant about anyone acting suspiciously in their area and contact police with any concerns.

“We are urging householders to be especially wary of anyone turning up on their doorstep unannounced, who cannot provide credible identity documents.”

The news comes after an elderly man was duped out of more than £2,000 at his home in St Mary's Road by two men pretending to be letting agents, who said they wanted to fix drains.

They asked the victim to hand over £150 in cash, which he did, and when they left £2,000 had also gone from his wallet.

The first man was in his 30s, 6' tall and of stocky build wearing a dark coloured baseball cap and dark fleece top.

The second was in his 20s, 5'7'' tall of medium build with short blond hair.

Anyone with information about either incident should contact DC Steve Matthews at Norfolk Constabulary's Operation Radar on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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