Wellingborough pensioner has funeral fund stolen by cold-hearted distraction burglars

The incident took place on Thursday, November 4

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 4:41 pm

An elderly Wellingborough resident had the money he put aside for his own funeral stolen by a pair of thieves - one of whom pretended to be from the 'water board'.

The pensioner answered his door to a man who said he was an official and while they talked another person entered the home and stole £1,200 in cash at about 6pm on Thursday, November 4.

When he realised what had happened the man raised the alarm causing the 'official' to run away.

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A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said: "At around 6pm on Thursday, November 4, a man knocked at a property in Newcomen Road and claimed to be from the water board in order to gain access to the property.

"While the elderly householder was occupied with this man in the kitchen, a second person entered the property and stole £1,200 cash which the homeowner had set aside for their own funeral costs.

"When the victim realised what had happened they sought help from a neighbour and the first man fled. He is described as a white man aged around 35, 5ft 9in, of stocky build and wearing all black clothing and face mask. The second offender was not seen.

"Anyone with information about this burglary is asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 21000643342."

Police officers have issued the following advice to help protect against distraction burglary.

We know offences like this cause great distress to victims. Please share our advice for dealing with unexpected callers with any relatives, friends or neighbours who may be vulnerable to this kind of crime:

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 window

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