Police hunt conmen who stole �600 from Axminster OAP

Elderly woman was kept talking while bogus council official ransacked her home looking for money and valuables

Police are hunting bogus council officials who stole �600 from an elderly Axminster woman.

The two men, wearing baseball caps, called at her sheltered home at Millwey Rise at around 11.20am last Thursday, May 10.

They told her they had come to inspect work carried out at the council-owned property by a local company, earlier in the day.

Police and Community Support officer Andy Trott said they asked her to make a cup of tea and one man then kept her talking while the other searched the property for money and valuables.

The left in a blue vehicle, taking �600 in cash they found in the house.

PCSO Trott said they had taken advantage of a very elderly and vulnerable woman.

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“We want to make people aware that if they are not expecting visitors then don’t let them in. They should certainly ask for identification but even then they need to be wary.”

He said the police could supply vulnerable people with special cards as part of the nominated neighbour scheme. These could be held up to the window to tell callers to go to someone else’s house where the owner could check their identity.

“A genuine caller will not mind following the instructions on the card and those with a criminal motive will make off very quickly,” say police.

Cards are available from the neighbourhood beat team or by dialling 101.

Police also advise people not to keep large sums of cash in their homes.