Surrey Police is reminding residents in Sunbury and the surrounding areas to stay vigilant following an incident where a man allegedly impersonated a police officer to gain access to an elderly woman’s home before stealing money and jewellery.
The incident occurred at a property off Halliford Road, Sunbury-on-Thames between 6pm and 7pm on Friday, 11 July. The victim, a 91-year-old woman, responded to her doorbell being rung and opened the door to a man claiming to be a police officer.
This is the second act like this to be brought to the attention of the police after something similar occurred in Hampton Court last week.
The suspect said he was calling to check her money and jewellery following a recent burglary. He entered the property uninvited and quickly proceeded to steal around £700 worth of cash and removed two necklaces and a diamond engagement ring that she was wearing at the time.
The man is described as being white, around 5ft 8ins tall, in his mid thirties, with short black hair, wearing a dark jacket and black felt gloves.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Felicity Bracewell from Staines CID, said:”This was a truly despicable act where a vulnerable elderly resident has been targeted by a cynical and opportunistic offender.
“The man cruelly exploited the innocent victim’s trust by using his fraudulent identity to steal a large amount of cash and valuable and irreplaceable items of jewellery from her.
“Although, thankfully the woman was not harmed in any way during the incident she has been left incredibly shaken and traumatised by the ordeal.
“We are also keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the suspect get into a car and drive away and urge anyone who may have details or a description of the car to contact us immediately.
“There have been several incidents of this nature in Spelthorne in the last two months and I am advising residents, especially the elderly,to be extra vigilant.
“Always be on your guard with any unexpected visitors, however convincing their story may seem. Always check for authentic identification before letting anyone into your home and if you have any doubts at all, call the police for verification.
“If you have an elderly relative or neighbour please help by making them aware of the potential issues and keep an eye out for anyone that appears suspicious around their properties.
“I am also urging anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously or in an unusual manner in the area at around the time of this offence to contact officers as soon as possible by calling 101.
“Similarly, we are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has had a similar experience from an uninvited visitor to get in contact with police. Any information, no matter how small it may seem, could prove vital to the investigation.”
Officers are carrying out house to house enquiries and giving reassurance and advice to local residents as part of the investigation.
Written by: Jonathan Pell
Credit for photography: Surrey Police via Flickr