Bogus workmen prey on another local victim – please warn the elderly


Warn your elderly and vulnerable friends and neighbours about bogus callers. Library image from NEN.

Yesterday, West Midlands Police issued an alert on WMNow about the distraction theft I reported on a few days ago in which an 83 year old resident of Castle close, Brownhills was victim of a distraction theft perpetrated by bogus workmen claiming to be utter cleaners.

It seems there was another incident in Riddings Crescent, Pelsall on Wednesday involving the same modus operandi.

West Midlands Police said:

In the last couple of days two crimes involving bogus gutter cleaners have been reported.

On Monday 5th June between about 10.30 and 11.30am two men attended the house of an elderly person in Castle Close, Brownhills, stating that they would clean the gutters for £5.  They then asked for some water and while in the house made a search of several rooms.  It appears that just some CCTV equipment was stolen.

Between approximately 10.35 and 11.10 am this morning (Wednesday 7th June), in Riddings Crescent, Pelsall, two men purporting to be council workers who had been sent to clean the guttering managed to get into their victim’s house.  While one of the men kept the resident occupied the other made a search of the house.  They were disturbed by the victim’s daughter arriving and managed to make their escape with a wooden jewellery box containing various pieces.  The two offenders are described as follows:

1/ white man, aged in his 30’s, approx. 5’ 3” tall, slim to medium build with short gingery blonde hair, wearing a light blue or grey jumper carrying a yellow canister.

2/ white man, slightly older, between 35 – 50 years old, thick set, wearing a blue top.  The two men were spotted walking off in the direction of Wolverhampton Road.

Police are investigating both of these incidents and would appreciate any information which may assist.  If you are able to help please contact us on 101 quoting crime reference 20WS/117319X/17 (Castle Close) or 20WS/118970H/17 (Riddings Crescent).

Please advise your neighbours, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable, not to allow anyone into their house who they are not expecting.  Always check the identity of anyone claiming to work for the council, any of the utilities or other bodies such as the police.  Simple precautions, such a fitting a door chain and keeping your back door locked (a possible sneak-in point while you’re kept talking at the front door) can reduce your chances of falling victim.  Thankfully such crimes are rare, however are distressing when they do occur.  Anything you can do to help us prevent this type of crime is appreciated.

My sympathies to the victims. If you have any information, please do contact the police.

Please tell your relatives and neighbours about these ratbags, and impress upon them how important it is not to buy from, or accept services at the door, no matter how plausible the people offering them. Genuine companies will always contact you by other means.

Explain that no official body will turn up unannounced demanding money for services like  fencing repairs, drain cleaning, tree pruning etc., and that if they are at all unsure of any caller, to close the door and contact the police.

Scumbags engaged in the robbing of OAPs are lower than a snake’s knees, and I hope the police continue to crack down on this cowardly, nasty crime.

Please,  if you have any further information relating to this, or any other incident, or if you witnessed something  please contact Walsall Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

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