Police are warning people to be on their guard against distraction burglars after a woman talked her way into the homes of three pensioners. Detectives are linking the three incidents and are urging people not to be taken in by the woman.
The first incident took place between 8.20pm and 8.45pm on Tuesday 24 January at an address in George Street, Dover.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Kirsty Gee said: ‘The offender rang the bell and asked the occupant, a woman in her 70s, if she could use her phone because she had locked her keys in her car.
‘It was only after she had left that the victim realised her own car keys had been stolen, as had her car, a grey Seat Arosa.’
The woman was described as white, in her 20s, about 5ft 6in tall of a slim build with dark brown hair. She was wearing a white beanie-style hat, a beige jacket with a long-sleeved top underneath and jeans and she was carrying a small, light-blue handbag. She had an English accent.
The second incident is reported to have taken place between 8.15pm and 8.45pm on Wednesday 25 January at an address in Foord Road, Folkestone.
The offender asked the occupant, a man in his 70s, to lend her £20. When he declined, she grabbed his wallet. During an altercation he suffered a minor injury to his face. The woman made off with the wallet.
She was described as white, of a slim build, about 5ft 4in tall and with wavy hair and was wearing white trainers, dark trousers, a dark-coloured tee-shirt, a black fluffy jacket, a white scarf and a white bobble hat.
The last incident took place at an address in Telegraph Road, Deal, at around 9pm on Sunday 29 January.
Detective Constable Gee said: ‘Once again the offender claimed she had locked her keys in her car and asked to use the phone. After she left the victim, a woman in her 70s, realised her purse had been stolen.’
The offender was described as in her 20s, white, of a slim build, with long, dark brown hair and an English accent. She was wearing a long black coat.
Detective Constable Gee said: ‘Distraction thieves prey on a person’s good nature and often ask the occupant for a glass of water or to use the phone so they can gain access.
However, there are ways you can protect yourself.’
. Ensuring rear doors and windows are shut and locked when answering your front door
. Considering fitting extra security measures such as spy holes, door chains, door locks and intruder alarms
. Always checking the ID of cold callers – a door chain or spy hole will help you do this without letting anyone into your home. Don’t be afraid to turn people away
Detective Constable Gee urged people to be vigilant and to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives.
‘We would also like to hear from anyone who recognises this woman’s description or who has information about the incidents,’ she said.
If you can help, please phone Kent Police on 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting reference number ZY/3265/17.