Police have issued a warning to residents in Kent Hill after a 59-year-old man was the victim of a distraction burglary at his home in Shernfold on Friday (May 12).
Three men had been knocking on doors in the street earlier, asking residents if they required gardening work, when they knocked on the victim’s door and offered him the same services.
The victim mistakenly believed the suspects were from Age UK to do garden work which, by coincidence, he had previously requested.
The offenders requested cash upfront before undertaking some minor gardening work, after which they requested more cash for weed killer. Just before leaving the property the offenders asked the victim to inspect their work, during which time one of the offenders stole cash from a bedroom.
One offender is white, in his fifties, of medium build, around 5ft 6ins and had short greying brown hair.
The other two offenders were younger and looked very similar to each other. They are both white, in their twenties, around 6ft, of stocky build with short brown hair. They may have been wearing hi-vis yellow jackets. They left in a bright red Ford Transit van.
Investigating officer DC Stephanie Mason said: “We would like to hear from anyone who has any information on these offenders, and anyone who also had these men knocking on the door, to help us to identify them.
“I would advise all elderly or vulnerable residents to be on their guard when people call at their door, even if they are expecting someone – care should still be taken.
“The door should be kept closed and locked until they can confirm who is actually calling. They can request that identification is passed through the letterbox to be checked. If the caller is genuine, they will not mind waiting while the resident checks the details.”
If you have any information relating to this case, please call 101 quoting reference ‘43170139116’, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.