Men impersonating council workers steal cash from elderly woman in Barton Seagrave distraction burglary

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An elderly woman in Barton Seagrave was the victim of a distraction burglary in which two men falsely claimed to be from the council.

Between 12pm and 1.30pm on Friday, February 8, the men claiming to be from Kettering Council called at the woman’s home in Gotch Road.

They told her that trees in her garden needed pruning, for which there would be a charge.

The woman agreed to the work and went to a cash machine to take out cash to pay, but when she returned found her home had been entered and money stolen from her purse.

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "The first man is described as white, aged around 45, 5ft 6in and of stocky build.

"He had a stubble beard and appeared scruffy, wearing a dirty grey or beige jumper.

"The second man was white, in his early 20s, 5ft 4in, and also of a scruffy stubbly appearance.

"They drove a flatbed truck with a blue cab and dark coloured back, which had ‘garden clearance’ written on both sides."

Witnesses or anyone with information about this incident are asked to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.

Northamptonshire Police has the following advice for protecting yourself against a distraction burglary:

Remember that sadly not everyone is who they say they are, or may have ulterior motives, especially if they knock at your door to point out a supposed problem, such as damage to your roof

Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it. Where possible fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent windows

Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. Don’t feel you are being rude, genuine callers won’t mind

Don’t let people you don’t know into your home, even if they say they need help. If more than one person is at the door, one may try to keep you talking while the other slips away to see what they can steal

Set up passwords with your utility companies, genuine callers will need to recite this password to you. Always ask to see an ID card too

Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards, if the person isn’t genuine the ID and the telephone number won't be either. Obtain telephone numbers direct from the phone directory, or make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone

If you’re still not sure that a caller is who they say they are, turn them away. Legitimate companies and callers will not mind

Display a ‘No Cold Callers’ sticker on your door or in your window

Email the Northamptonshire Police crime prevention team if you’d like to talk to someone about protecting yourself against doorstep crime

Share this advice with older family members, friends or neighbours who may not be online