Elderly woman falls prey to distraction burglar with cat story

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An 85-year-old woman had her purse stolen from her home when a caller tricked her with a story about a cat.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses to come forward after the distraction burglary in Bedford on Friday, April 4.

The incident took place sometime between 8am and noon after the victim heard the doorbell sounding at her home in Roundmead, in the Putnoe area.

When she answered the door she saw a man who stated that his grandmother’s cat had jumped into the victim’s garden and he wondered if he could go and collect it.

The victim allowed the man into her garden through a side gate but left her kitchen door open.

When the man left, he walked ahead of the victim and then shut the side gate with the woman still in her garden.

Detective Constable Lynn Adams, who is investigating the distraction burglary, is keen to hear from anyone who was in Roundmead at the time of the incident and may have seen the offender either before or after the incident. She would also like to speak to any other people who had been approached by the offender who is described as being a white man, in his mid 30s, around 5ft 4ins tall and of average build.

DC Adams said: “This offender appears to have deliberately picked on an elderly woman and taken advantage of her. The victim has been left extremely distressed by what has happened and we really need the public’s help in identifying the offender.

“We would remind everyone to be extremely cautious about anyone calling at their home, to always use a spy hole and door chain and to insist on identification. If you are in any way suspicious, dial 999.

“We would really like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time or anyone else who may have information – however small or insignificant they think it is – that could help us. Don’t dismiss your information as unimportant – even tiny details which don’t seem relevant now might become useful later on in the investigation.”

If you have information relating to this incident, contact DC Adams, in confidence, on 01234 275142, the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org