Gang of fake police target pensioners

PUBLISHED: 12:17 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

BOGUS police officers struck at homes in East Cambridgeshire on Monday escaping with cash. The gang, claiming to be policemen but not wearing uniforms, targeted the homes of elderly people, giving a different reason for calling each time. In just an hour

BOGUS police officers struck at homes in East Cambridgeshire on Monday escaping with cash.

The gang, claiming to be policemen but not wearing uniforms, targeted the homes of elderly people, giving a different reason for calling each time.

In just an hour the conmen hit three addresses in the district and now police are facing the difficult task of piecing together a number of descriptions.

One of their victims, a 96-year-old woman in Upherds Lane, Ely, became suspicious when the conman called at her home claiming to be a police officer chasing someone. He fled empty-handed when she demanded identification.

He was described as white, with dark hair, a short, dark moustache, wearing dark trousers and a short, woolly jacket. He ran off in the direction of West Fen Road

Now forensic experts have been sent to the homes in the search for clues to the crimes which happened between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

Later a man, again claiming to be a police officer, called at the home of an 80-year-old man in Church Lane, Haddenham claiming to have hit a cat.

Again the householder became suspicious of the conman's story that he was a police officer and refused to allow him in.

He was described as in his 20s with fair ginger hair, which was spiky on top.

At the same time a man walked into the kitchen of an 87-year-old woman's home in High Street, Sutton posing as a police officer.

He was described as tall, of large build and in his 40s and escaped with her handbag.

The gang is also believed to be responsible for a similar burglary at 2.30pm in Woodgate Road, Leverington near Wisbech where a man, posing as a police officer, asked if the householder had lost any money. He fled with a purse.

The man is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, with short dark hair and clean shaven. He was wearing dark trousers and a blue and white shirt.

The distraction burglaries come just days after conmen posing as water board officials targeted two homes in Burwell. They have also struck at addresses in Littleport, Little Thetford and Stetchworth earlier this month.

Cambridgeshire Police burglary squad Det Sgt Steve Kerridge said: "The distraction method where offenders pose as police officers or staff and claim to be pursuing criminals is relatively uncommon in our area.

"Residents should refuse entry to any person purporting to be from the police unless valid photo identification can be produced. Modern Cambridgeshire Constabulary identification cards are completely smooth with both the force crest and picture of the bearer digitally produced on them. Anything laminated or with pictures stuck on should be refused. Any genuine member of police staff will happily permit the card to be inspected closely."

Anyone with any information should contact Ely Police on 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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