Muswell Hill woman, 93, targeted by burglars

ELDERLY residents are being warned to be wary of unknown visitors after a 93-year-old Muswell Hill woman was targeted by distraction burglars. Despite a fall in the number of distraction burglaries, police are reminding residents to beware

Rhiannon Evans

ELDERLY residents are being warned to be wary of unknown visitors after a 93-year-old Muswell Hill woman was targeted by distraction burglars.

Despite a fall in the number of distraction burglaries, police are reminding residents to beware after a 69-year-old woman in Hornsey was also targeted.

A distraction burglary is when a thief poses as anything from a council officer to a water company worker to gain entry into a home, before making off with personal items or cash.

In the latest incidents, the suspects claimed to be checking for water leaks.

Last Friday March 5, a thief stole cash from a Hornsey woman after saying he was checking residents' water following a leak in the road. The next day a man using a similar excuse entered the home of the Muswell Hill pensioner, but made off empty-handed.

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DS Brian Guiney of Haringey's Burglary Squad said: "The latest statistics indicate residential burglary offences in Haringey are down almost five per cent since last April and offences in which bogus callers gain entry to a home to steal property are down around 20 per cent.

"While there have been fewer than 60 residential distraction burglary offences in Haringey since April 2009, we are not prepared to accept any number and we are doing everything in our power to identify those responsible.

"Distraction burglary is an appalling crime, which can leave the most vulnerable members of our community with their trust shattered and their lives turned upside down.

"We urge people be vigilant, please keep an eye out for your neighbours, especially those that are elderly or vulnerable. If you see anything suspicious take down any suspect description or vehicle details and dial 999."

If you are in doubt about who is calling, don't let them in and check with the company they say they are representing, he added.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

In Camden this week, two burglars posed as policeman to steal money from a 92-year-old partially sighted man. Police in the neighbouring borough have also warned vulnerable residents to be on their guard after the man was targeted in his home on Camden Road on Saturday.

At around 6pm he opened the door to two casually dressed men pretending to be police officers holding fake identification.

They asked to see the man's cash claiming there was 'stolen money circulating in the area' and when he opened his wallet the men took the money and calmly walked out of his flat.

The suspects are described as two white men aged in their late 20s or early 30s. One was wearing a white bomber type jacket which was dirty and dark trousers. The other was wearing a denim jacket.

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