Warning after spate of conmen incidents

POLICE are today warning people to be on their guard after bogus callers targeted homes across Suffolk in a series of linked raids.Two men, one with an Irish accent, targeted pensioners in Ipswich, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds on Thursday afternoon.

POLICE are today warning people to be on their guard after bogus callers targeted homes across Suffolk in a series of linked raids.

Two men, one with an Irish accent, targeted pensioners in Ipswich, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds on Thursday afternoon.

Police believe the incidents are more than likely to be linked and suspect the men maybe driving around the county looking for potential victims.

The conmen struck first at two separate addresses in the Hardwick area of Bury St Edmunds, at around 12.30pm.


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In the first incident, a man with an Irish accent called at the Horsecroft Road home of an elderly male.

The caller produced no identification, and the pensioner did not let him in.

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Shortly after 12.30pm, an 86-year-old woman allowed two men into her Mayfield Road home after they claimed they needed to check her gas supply

It is not yet known if anything was stolen, but the victim described the two men as white, and aged in their mid-20s.

Bogus callers also struck at Finborough Road, Stowmarket, at around 2pm. A man was seen trying to gain entrance to an elderly woman's home.

He was described as 5ft 9in tall, of slim build with black hair wearing navy trousers and a navy jacket. He was talking with an Irish accent and claimed to be from the gas board.

Just over an hour later, a man with an Irish accent also called at a house in Bramford Lane, Ipswich, claiming to be from the gas company Transco. He was turned away and left on foot towards Chevalier Street. His description matched that given by the victim in Stowmarket.

A fifth attempt was made at a house in Maidenhall Green, Ipswich, just before 5pm. An elderly man allowed two men, claiming to be from the water board, into his home. Whilst one of the men distracted the homeowner, the other stole a quantity of money. The two men were described as white – one was wearing a grey pullover and the other, a dark navy top.

Suffolk Police spokesman Mike Nunn said: "We would advise members of the public to be on their guard and perhaps take the numbers of any suspicious vehicles.

"We would like to renew appeals for the community to be extra vigilant, and to not let anybody into their home unless they are certain the caller is genuine."

Witnesses to the incidents should contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

Suffolk Police top tips

STOP

Think about whether or not you are expecting a call.

Before you answer the door make sure other doors are locked.

Check who is calling by looking through the spyhole or a nearby window.

CHAIN

If you have a door chain or bar make sure you use it and keep it on while you talk to the person on your doorstep.

CHECK

Check your caller's details and always ask for identification.

If an appointment has not been made take the identification and close the door while you make a phone call to check they are genuine.

Remember genuine callers will carry photographic identification and will not mind waiting while you check.

Do not agree to have work done to your house or garden by someone who is just passing by and never pay for work before it is done.

Remember to make a note of the description of a suspicious caller and take down details of the vehicle they are in.

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