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[16 FEB 01] CRIMES, FIRES & ACCIDENTS
City Woman Tricked By Teenagers

Doorstep tricksters conned an 88-year-old Coventry woman out of her savings yesterday after pretending to be carrying out a survey.

Police are urging people to be on their guard following the distraction burglary in the city.

The incident took place between 5.15pm and 5.30pm yesterday at the home of an 88-year-old woman in Ansty Road, Walsgrave.

Two teenage girls went to the pensioner's house and conned their way in by claiming to be students conducting a survey.

While one of the girls kept the victim talking, the other searched a bedroom and took 600 from a bag in the room. They then left.

The pensioner was uninjured in this incident, but she was distressed when she found that the money was missing.

The offenders are described as two white girls aged about 16 to 17, both medium build and about 5ft 4ins tall.

The first has brown, collar-length hair and a freckled complexion. She wore a navy blue cardigan and trousers. The second offender has short blonde hair.

A police spokesman urged people, particularly the elderly, to be wary of strangers calling at their homes and not to let them in. Genuine callers would have identity cards or a way of verifying their credentials.

West Midlands Police is taking part in Operation Liberate, an initiative which targets offenders who prey on the elderly and vulnerable and aims to bring them before the courts.

Anyone who witnessed this offence, or who recognises the identity of the offenders, should contact officers at Chace Avenue police station in Coventry on 024 7653 9040 or the confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.
 
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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / 16 Feb 01
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