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Elderly speak of conmen attack

PUBLISHED: 18:48 26 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

MANY elderly people are today recovering from the shock of being targeted by conmen in their sheltered accommodation.

Suffolk police are investigating after two men entered four flats - and tried to enter a fifth - at Richard Kitson Court, Wickham Market.

MANY elderly people are today recovering from the shock of being targeted by conmen in their sheltered accommodation.

Suffolk police are investigating after two men entered four flats - and tried to enter a fifth - at Richard Kitson Court, Wickham Market.

Although nothing was taken, several residents were shaken and there were calls for improved security.

Victim Esther Reid Clarke, 91, said: "I never lock my door. I was sitting having my tea when this young man walked right in, as if he knew me. He said he was a nurse working with the police.

"He asked where my pension book was, but I don't have one. He asked what my secret number was, but I said I wasn't allowed to tell a nurse that.

"He opened the drawer. He got out three purses, brought them to me and asked me to check them.

"I was a bit shaken. I am perfectly all right now, but I must keep the door locked and ask people for their ID."

Bessie Poulson, 90, who lives with her husband Charles, said: "The door was unlocked and a man just walked in. But when he saw there were two of us, I don't think he bothered much.

"When I went after him and asked what he wanted, he said he was looking for his brother. We hope it doesn't worry other people who are not as able as us."

A couple of residents said they wanted the main door always locked.

Daisy Revell, 84, who was not targeted, said: "There should be a different way of entering. Anyone can walk in. I would like the front door to be always locked. I feel very nervous."

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "The front door is open so anybody could just walk in. Hopefully we will get that sorted out."

The homes in Richard Kitson court are managed by the Suffolk Heritage Housing Association.

Caroline Smith, operations director for the association, said: "Residents in this home are continually told to treat their front doors as is they were a street door and to exercise caution at all times.

"At present the outside doors are only locked at dusk, when all visitors are put through to a call centre before being let in.

"The managers have held regular meetings with residents to discuss this arrangement and they decided, as a group, they did not want them to be locked all the time.

"We will, of course, be reviewing this decision in the light of events at the weekend."

A police spokesman said the two men entered Richard Kitson Court between 5pm and 6pm on Saturday.

One man is described as white, aged 18 years and wearing a grey jumper, blue jeans, looking scruffy and possibly having a foreign accent.

The other is described as white, in his late teens or early 20s, of average height and build, with brushed back dark hair and wearing a blue shirt. One may have had a slight hunched back.

Four other properties, two in the High Street, Aldeburgh, and two in Platers Walk, Leiston, were also targeted within hours of this incident.

Police are urging people to ask callers for identification before letting them into their home - and to refuse entry and call 999 if in doubt.

Anyone with information about the incident should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 and ask for Woodbridge CID.

What do you think of these attacks? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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