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Police Appeal for North West Leeds Con Men

August 26th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Crime

by Joel Beaumont
Police hunting bogus callers in the north west of Leeds have upped their search by releasing an e-fit of a suspect.

The man pictured below is wanted in questioning with a spate of attacks on elderly residents where he and his accomplices trick their way into the victims homes and rob them.

e-fit of suspected conman

Police are warning residents in Holt Park and surrounding areas, especially those who are elderly, to have their wits about them when answering the door.

After a spate of bogus calls this month by con men targeting elderly people, police are appealing to residents to be on their guard.

In the incidents, which have taken place across Holt Park, Cookridge, Horsforth and surrounding areas, the victims, aged between 79 and 96 years old, have been tricked into allowing the men into their homes.

Each time a man has knocked at the door and told the victim their home was at risk of flooding due to damage caused by workmen up the road.

They asked to come into the kitchen to check pipework. Once inside they distracted the occupant by checking under the sink while an accomplice sneaked in to search for cash or other valuables.

At one address they distracted a 96-year-old woman and stole a jewellery box containing antique gold jewellery worth £10,000 from her bedroom.

In the most recent attack, a 74 year old woman from Horsforth refused the men entrance to her home after they claimed they were from “the waterboard”. A short time later when talking to her neighbour she had her handbag snatched by the same men.

She described one man as 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins tall, aged 20 to 25, slim, with short brown hair. He was wearing a long sleeved top with light and dark horizontal stripes.

Detective Inspector John Dexter, of North West Leeds Division, said: “Criminals who prey on the elderly and vulnerable in this way are absolutely despicable and we are determined to do all we can to catch them. All of the victims have been left traumatised by what has happened, particularly one lady who had suffered a bereavement just days before.

“It is likely these criminals are using a vehicle to get around and we would like to hear from anyone who has seen one linked to people fitting the descriptions or who has any information that will help us catch these men.”

Police would like to remind residents to use a door chain, and not to allow strangers into their home if they are not from a company or organisation who is expected for a pre-arranged visit.

DI Dexter added: ” Remember, if in doubt, keep them out. Ask to see their identification badge and contact the company they claim to work for. Genuine callers will not mind. If you are in any doubt, contact the police.”

From the descriptions in all incidents the main suspect has been described as white, aged in his early twenties, between 5ft 8ins and 6ft tall, with short dark hair. He was variously described as wearing a dirty light green workmen’s overalls with a matching peaked cap, a light grey tracksuit, a dark blue jacket with a logo on the left. He has been described a speaking with a slight stammer and not having a local accent.

Neighbourhood policing teams have stepped up patrols in the affected areas and are offering crime prevention advice to residents while enquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.

Anyone who witnessed any of the incidents or anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 5318 Lee Swift at Weetwood police station via 0845 6060606, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.

Man being hunted for questioning

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