A PENSIONER was robbed of several hundreds’ pounds in cash from her Stewart Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon, after two bogus workmen, acting along with a boy, duped their way into the 83-year-old’s property.
Police hunting the trio – after the crime which they have described as ‘probably the lowest of the low’ – have issued detailed descriptions in the hope they will be recognised.
The men, both said to be in their late teens or early twenties, and the boy, aged eight to 12, had been in the area in a white van – possibly a Transit type flat bed – on the pretence of doing some gardening work.
It was around 2.30pm, and after speaking to the occupier, that they gained entry to her home.
While unaccompanied within the house, one of the males stole the three-figure sum of cash, plus a cheque book, before they left the area.
The first youth was 5ft 7-8 inches, of slim build, with short fair blonde hair, a long face, with dirty teeth, and his right upper tooth broken.
He was wearing a black top with collar, with white numbering on the front, and jeans.
The second was 5ft 7 inches, of slim build, with short very blonde hair, pale skin and wearing a white long sleeve jacket (zipped or buttoned) and white trousers.
The boy had fair hair and was wearing a blue jacket or shirt plus blue jeans.
Bo’ness Inspector Ian Scott told the Journal and Gazette: “Basically this is probably the lowest of the low of crime type. It’s as distressing for us as much as anyone else, to see people of that age – who should be free to live their lives in peace – being targeted.
“This lady was switched on enough to actually think that something was wrong.
“However, it just shows the nature of the people we are dealing with, that they persevered and got away with several hundred pounds.”
Inspector Scott added: “It would appear that a youth has been involved in the theft, which again just reflects how desperate these people can be.”
He said the scam had obviously been well-tried, and that the perpetrators were ‘determined to achieve their goal’.
“She basically became suspicious and questioned individuals as to their due purpose. But despite her expressing her concerns, they still managed to enter the house.”
The lady discovered shortly after the trio had left that the money and chequebook had been stolen. “She was clearly upset, as all victims of this type of crime are,” said Inspector Scott, “but was otherwise uninjured.”
He added: “Whilst in the current climate some older people may feel it’s better to keep money in the house, this incident highlights the dangers of this, should you be subjected to any unwanted callers.
“I would also urge anyone who’s unhappy with anyone who’s cold calling, to go with their gut instincts and keep people out their house – I know it’s not easy – until they are verified or have left the area.”
nPolice have described the crime as despicable: did you see the people or vehicle in the area? Help track the trio by reporting any information to Central Scotland Police on 01786 456 000, or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.