[15 NOV 00]
CRIMES, FIRES & ACCIDENTS
Gang Cons Its Way
Into Pensioners' Homes
in Coventry and Rugby were conned out of their pensions and
savings by a gang on a confidence trick marathon yesterday.
are investigating the links between the five separate incidents
yesterday afternoon and evening as the description of the three
men involved on each occasion has been very similar.
each occasion a smartly-dressed man in a suit has tried to bluff
his way into the home of a pensioner.
he succeeded in getting into the house, using a variety of
pretexts, his accomplices would try and sneak in and steal cash.
one householder refused entry to the gang. Police are renewing
their appeals to elderly people to not let anyone in to their
house without checking they have valid identification.
first struck at a house in Stretton-on-Dunsmore at 2pm, where a
90-year-old man opened the door.
victim was told by the visitor that he was working on a fence next
door, and he wanted him to inspect some trees that could be
causing the fences some damage.
resident followed him outside and left his rear door unguarded. It
was only when the man had left and the pensionerís neighbour
appeared to ask what the group of men had been doing there, that
he realised that there had been more than one visitor.
later discovered that £300 had been taken from a bank book.
after this, at 4pm, an 80-year-old woman, was visited in Houston
Road, Rugby, and was told that there had been a small explosion
and the man needed to check her electrics.
noticed that there were two other men waiting nearby, and told the
men to go away.
5.15pm near Fenside Avenue, Styvechale, Coventry, a man bluffed
his way into the kitchen of a 79-year-old woman to check her
electrics, and started tapping the kettle.
woman noticed that in the reflection of a picture that there was
movement in her front room, and went in there to find two men.
was hiding behind a chair and the other was standing by a chest of
drawers, which had been opened.
pensioner told them that she would call the police and the first
man offered to lock them in his van until the officers arrived.
The gang escaped and the woman found that £86 had been stolen.
described the first man as between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 10ins, medium
build, clean shaven, with an Irish accent. He was wearing a dark
navy suit a, a white shirt and a dark tie. He was in his 30s.
second man was slim, about 6ft, in his early 40s and was wearing a
dark sleeved jumper.
third man is white, 5ft 10ins, slim, and was wearing a jumper
darker across the back than at the front.
descriptions given by other victims were similar to this.
gang are next believed to have struck at the home of an
89-year-old woman near Walsgrave Road at about 6pm. The man
claimed he needed to check her electrics, and fiddled with several
appliances before asking her about her pension details.
said she inadvertently led him to the airing cupboard where she
kept her papers and her cash, and later discovered that £400
savings were taken.
7pm an elderly couple in Melbourne Road, Earlsdon were told that
an electricity pylon had fallen down and the man at their front
door asked if he could check their TV.
he kept them talking, two others searched upstairs and took £160
in cash. The group then left in the direction of Hearsall Common.
to any of these incidents should call Coventry police on 024 7653
9040 or Rugby police on 01926 415000.