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Warning Over Bogus Callers in the Stroud Area
Police in the Cotswold and Stroud division are warning residents that bogus callers are operating in the area.
A number of reports have been made about a group of men claiming to be from the water board who are calling at houses under the pretence that a water pipe has burst.
One 85-year-old woman from School Lane is Shipton Oliffe had £45 stolen from her purse after a conman claiming to be from the water board, tricked his way into her house at around 2.45pm on Monday, March 26.
She was told that a burst water pipe down the road was causing sewerage to seep into the drinking water and that her taps had to be turned off.
The pensioner was ushered into her kitchen by the man where he closed the door behind her and started to fiddle with the pipes underneath the sink.
He left shortly after saying that he would return to "finish the job later".
He was seen walking away with two other men.
On later inspection the elderly lady noticed that her wallet, which had been in a bag in her sitting room, had been emptied of her money.
One of the men is described as white, in his mid 20s, with short fair hair. He was wearing a fawn coloured rollneck jumper and beige trousers and is described as having a round face.
A further report of a similar nature was reported later that some day by an 85-year-old man from Moreton In Marsh.
He told officers that at about 3.30pm a man, again claiming to be from the water board, told him he needed to turn his water off.
They both went into the kitchen where the conman appeared to fiddle with the taps then he left saying he would be back "to finish the job later".
He left through a side door and was met by another man.
The pensioner then noticed that rooms in the house had been searched, including two upstairs bedrooms, and that £65 in notes had been stolen from his wallet.
It is believed the men drove off in a white two-seater van that was muddy on the rear.
Police are now advising all residents to be cautious when answering the door to strangers and to always check ID and to telephone the company of whomever the person claims to be from to check there are members of staff working in that area at that time.
Anybody with any doubt that a caller may not be genuine should turn them away at the door and to call 999 straight away.
Anybody with any information about the above incidents is asked to contact police on 0845 090 1234 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 360 of March 26.
: 29/03/2007 22:36:18
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