Spate of ‘disgusting’ distraction burglaries target Redbridge elderly

Callous thieves who target vulnerable residents in their homes have struck again.

At least five “distraction” burglaries have occurred in the last month with thieves pretending to be from the water company, the council or even a plain clothes police officer.

In the latest attacks, on February 18, two different women in their eighties were duped by men claiming to be dealing with their water supply.

The first, in Aldborough Road South, Ilford, saw the an elderly victim tricked by a man saying he was from the water board while an accomplice ransacked her home and made off with her bank book. In the second incident, in Heathcote Court, Barkingside, a man claiming to be form the council kept a resident distracted while another went through her flat, stealing �500 cash as well as a large amount of Asian jewellery.

Chairman of the Redbridge Pensioners Forum, 91-year-old Chris Wilson, said: “This trend is certainly worrying, and we have discussed it on many occasions.

“It is disgusting that they target the vulnerable but the problem is that these cons are so plausible.”

He added: “The police can’t do enough to warn people, there can never be enough warning.”

Most Read

Mr Wilson urged all residents to put the chain across the door when answering and only to allow people entry into their house when they have checked their identification with a valid authority, like the council.

On February 17 the Recorder reported how a 93-year-old widow from Clayhall had been hoodwinked into giving �2,000 of her savings to a man she believed to be a police officer.

A police spokesperson said: “A recent scam has seen a number of elderly and vulnerable victims being targeted whereby the perpetrators either claim to be bank staff or Police officers and ask for PIN numbers, bank cards or payment books. On occasion this has led to the suspects stealing quantities of cash.

“A genuine police officer will never request that you hand over money. They will not request or facilitate you attending a cash point to withdraw money.”

Police are looking for a 35-40-year-old white male, about 5ft 10ins tall and wearing a navy jacket and trousers in connection with the Heathcote Court incident.

Anyone with information should contact Mikey Lai at Redbridge Police on 0208 345 2610.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter