Police appeal for help in tracking down ‘windows’ con caller who fleeced Hitchin pensioner

Police are increasing patrols in Baldock after a 'fat and very scruffy' man exposed himself.

Police are increasing patrols in Baldock after a 'fat and very scruffy' man exposed himself. - Credit: Archant

Police are appealing for witnesses and help as they hunt a distraction burglar who helped himself to cash and a bank book from a Hitchin pensioner’s home.

The smartly-dressed con caller struck at lunchtime last Thursday, April 9, when the woman was walking towards her home in Periwinkle Lane.

She was approached by a man who told her that he had come to measure up the windows before following her in and asking for a £40 deposit.

After telling the woman he was going to look at the windows in the bedroom, he then slipped out of the house after taking cash and her bank book from her handbag.

The man police are looking for is in his late 30s to early 40s, around 5ft 10in tall, of stocky build. He may have been driving a dark grey vehicle.

Officers from Operation Manhunt team which investigates distraction burglary and other crimes against the elderly in the county are investigating.

Det Con Sam Casey said: “The victim has been left extremely upset by this incident.

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“I would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and believes they may have seen a man matching this description or a dark grey vehicle. I would also like to hear from anyone who may have been approached in similar circumstances.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Operation Manhunt via the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference G1/15/893.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police advice to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of distraction burglary includes:

Not sure? Don’t open the door! If you are not expecting anyone and you don’t recognise them, don’t let them into your home. Try to communicate with the caller without opening the door and ask them to return at a time when you have someone you trust with you.

If a person you are expecting comes at the time you have arranged, ask to see their identification before you let them in.

Never keep large amounts of cash at home. Put your money in an account where it is safe.

Keep your eye on elderly neighbours and report any suspicious activity to police straight away. Take note of vehicle registration numbers and a description of any possible offenders.

Call 999 if you suspect a crime is in progress or you believe someone is acting suspiciously around your neighbour’s property.