Police warning over bogus officials

Merseyside Police is warning  residents in the Huyton area to be vigilant following a report of a con-man taking a large amount of cash from an elderly man.

Officers are advising elderly residents and their neighbours to be on their guard against bogus officials following the incident in Highclere Crescent.

Detectives are investigating after a man knocked on the address of an 87-year-old man at around 2pm on Monday (18 April). He claimed to be from the water board and that he was doing maintenance work on drains in the area. He went to the bathroom claiming he was checking the water, and removed a drain cover in the back garden, but when inside the property took a quantity of cash from a bedroom and made off on foot.

The incident was later reported to police. Officers attended and house-to-house enquiries were carried out.

The offender is described as being white, aged in his 20s, of a medium build and around 5ft 7in tall. He had short dark hair and was wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap. He had an ID card turned to face his chest.

Detective Sergeant Chris Burrows said: “It’s hard to believe anyone would stoop so low as to steal money from an 87-year-old man and we are doing everything we can to arrest the cowardly individual responsible.

“Offenders like this think nothing of deliberately targeting elderly people in their own homes and often appear entirely plausible.

“If you think you may have been targeted by this offender or you have suffered any type of bogus official or distraction burglary, I would urge you to call the police.

“It is vital that people are on their guard against these types of offenders and do not open their door to anyone they don’t know. Although most people who call at your home are genuine, some are not and it is important to check the identity of any stranger who calls. Genuine callers will not mind waiting and should be carrying an official form of identification associated with their employment.

“There are some simple steps people can take to help prevent these types of crimes, but I’d also urge residents to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours. If you notice someone suspicious in the area, call the police or contact your local neighbourhood policing team for more advice.

“I am sure the local community would agree that this type of behaviour has no place on Merseyside and I would like to reassure the public that we will do everything possible to find the person responsible.

“Information from the public is really important for our investigations and every piece of information is looked into so please come forward if you know anything about this matter.

“A full investigation into this incident is ongoing and we would appeal to anyone with information to contact Merseyside on 0151 777 6561 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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