Witness appeal launched in hunt for "bogus official"

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after an elderly woman was robbed by a bogus official in Birkenhead.

At around 2pm on Tuesday, March 24, the 90-year-old answered the front door of her home in Kelvin Road to a man who showed her a police badge, printed on a piece of paper.

He claimed to be fitting cameras due to recent burglaries in the area.

The lady allowed the man in to her home and he asked her where she kept her money. A short time later he left.

After the man left the victim discovered that a quantity of cash was missing.

The victim was not injured but was left shaken by the incident.

The man is described as white 29 years 5ft 10in, blonde hair, with very fair skin.

He had a stocky build and spoke with a local accent, and was wearing a grey jacket.

Police are urging residents to contact the police if they think a bogus caller has deceived them.

A police spokesman said: "Help make sure no-one else becomes a victim by telling the police about what happened to you. We can only catch bogus callers with your information.

"Many people who call at your door are genuine but some are not.

"Therefore it is vital to take precautions when people call at your home:

"Always make sure visitors to your home are who they say they are by asking to see their identification.

Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door.

"The best defence against a bogus caller is to have a viewer or spy hole and a stout door chain fitted to your door.

If the caller claims to be from the electricity, gas or water company, ask them to quote your customer reference number.

A genuine caller from these utility companies will be able to quote these numbers. If you are unsure at all, contact the company they claim to be from, on the number listed in the phone book.

If you are faced with a bogus caller, call 999 if the offenders are nearby. Make sure that you take vehicle registrations and a description of the caller. For non-emergencies use 0151 709 6010.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information about this type of burglary is asked to contact the police at Birkenhead on 0151 777 2247 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.