Chadwell Heath woman, 98, mugged of grandson’s birthday cash

A 98-YEAR-OLD was targeted by cruel bogus callers who posed as water company staff, before making off with birthday money for her grandson.

The attack comes just two weeks after the council announced plans to axe a doorstop crime and trading standards advice service in budget cuts.

Pensioner Nancy Wilkin let the bogus pair in on Friday (21), after they knocked on her door claiming to be investigating burst water pipes, but she soon became uneasy and asked them to leave, however as she walked into her living room she saw an envelope containing cash in had been ripped open.

“I was shocked when I saw the envelope torn open on the table, when they saw that I had noticed that they didn’t hang around, they were off in a matter of seconds.

“They took �60, which I was planning on giving to my grandson for his birthday, and �12 I had in my purse.

“Usually I would be more wary, but my daughter has terminal cancer and my mind has been on that,” she added.

The thieves trashed most of Mrs Wilkin’s bedroom, where they rooted through her jewellery, but did not take anything.

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Hitting out at the proposals to cut the bogus caller awareness service, Geraldine Maclaine, secretary of Redbridge’s University of the Third Age, said: “This just fuels the argument that this service is vital for the older community.

“As they are older, they need to be constantly reminded of these things - I have a 95-year-old neighbour who I am constantly on at to be wary of letting strangers in.”

Proposals to cut the budget of the bogus caller service would see two officers, who provide consumer advice to keep vulnerable people aware of the threat of cold callers, axed.

Police are urging witnesses or those with information to come forward, in what is the second distraction burglary in one week.

One suspect is described as being a white male aged about 19, descriptions of the other two are unknown.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information, contact Det Con Zobia Ayub on 02083452611, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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