Warning from police after bogus callers strike in Norwich

Elderly and vulnerable people in Norwich have today been urged to be vigilant after two women, aged 95 and 79, were conned out of cash by bogus callers operating in the west of the city.

Police have launched an investigation after a 95-year-old woman living at Waddington Court, near Nelson Street, was targeted by a man claiming to need change for a �20 note after fitting a carpet at a nearby address.

He said he needed change for the customer and the victim handed over a �10 note and �5 note. The man said he would return for another �5 later but never did.

The incident, which happened at about noon on Tuesday, is being linked to a similar crime which happened in Douro Place, off Dereham Road, on Friday, August 19 between 7pm and 8pm.

On this occasion a man called at the address of a 79-year-old woman claiming to need change for two �20 notes for a taxi and the confused victim handed over �45 in cash.

Police are urging residents, particularly the elderly, to be vigilant when dealing with anyone who cold calls asking for change.

Investigating officer Det Con Colin Aris, from Operation Radar, a specialist police team set up to tackle the number of crimes involving people who were duped out of money by bogus callers, said: 'In both cases the suspect has targeted vulnerable elderly residents and the fake �20 notes exchanged are of very poor quality.

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'We would urge elderly householders to be wary of anyone cold calling at their door asking for change in this manner and also ask that residents keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable friends or neighbours.'

The suspect is described as young, of average build, with short hair.

As reported in the Evening News earlier this week, Operation Radar was hailed a success after it emerged there had been 30pc fewer distraction burglaries so far this year compared to last year.

The team, which is based in Dereham but covers all of Norwich, has had 135 arrests in its three years in operation, including Neil Seagrave, who preyed on more than 100 elderly women, who was jailed for 11 years at the end of last year.

Anyone who has any information about either distraction burglary should call DC Aris on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.