Police are urging residents to be vigilant and to look out for elderly relatives and neighbours following two distraction burglaries in Ely.
Officers believe the same woman carried out both crimes, on each occasion claiming to be a cleaner and asking where the victim’s cleaning product were kept.
The first happened in Beald Way at about 9am yesterday (September 11). After being let in and followed around the property by the occupants, who were in their 90s, she left after about 40 minutes. It was later discovered three bracelets had been stolen.
Then, at about noon, a man in his 70s, allowed her into his home in Egremont Street and left her alone while she cleaned. After about 30 minutes she left.
Later it was discovered a pair of earrings, a gold watch and two rings, including a cameo solitaire ring, had been stolen from a bedroom.
In-between the two burglaries, at about 11.30am, it is believed the woman attempted to steal from another property in Canute Crescent. The victims, who were in their 80s, followed her around until she made her excuses and left. It is believed nothing was stolen.
The woman is described as white, stocky, around 5’5”, pale, with distinctive cheekbones, and brown hair with blonde highlights.
Community Safety Officer Sue Loaker said: “It is a despicable crime to prey on the elderly and vulnerable and we will do everything in our power to find the woman responsibly.
“This burglary has left the victims shaken and has had a serious effect on their wellbeing. I’d urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area yesterday to contact us as a matter of urgency.
“If you have an elderly relative or neighbour who lives alone it’s worth talking to them about this type of burglary.
“There is important advice we are trying to get over to prevent these cowardly offenders from getting into people’s homes.”
To reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a distraction burglar, always remember:
LOCK - Is your back door locked? If not, lock it before you answer the front door as distraction burglars often work in pairs - one distracts, while the other steals
STOP - Are you expecting anybody?
CHAIN - Put this on before you open the door. If you have not got one, it is a worthwhile investment. It will give you that extra 'safe space' and barrier between you and the caller and then,
CHECK - Ask for their identification card, take it and look at it carefully. Close the door and check the number in the phone book - not the number on the card. If they are genuine they will not mind waiting or coming back another day.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting CF0522020917 or visit www.contactcambspolice.uk/Report/. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.