Sneak thieves target OAPs

Crime story
Crime story

WIGAN’S elderly and vulnerable residents are being warned to be vigilant after cash was stolen.

A woman knocked on the door of a pensioner’s home on St Paul’s Avenue in Worsley Mesnes and asked whether she could use his phone and get a drink.

When she left, the man realised his wallet had been stolen.

Two days later an 82-year old woman answered a knock at the door to her Wellington Street home in Scholes where a woman asked her for a glass of water but when she left, the victim realised money had been taken.

Now police are warning older people to be on their guard when strangers knock on their doors.

Detective Constable Kath Andrews from Wigan West Neighbourhood Police Team said: “I would urge the local community to be mindful of these incidents and to take safety measures of their own and to also look out for neighbours and elderly relatives.

“By following the Lock, Stop, Chain, Check method - keep all doors locked, always open the door with the chain on and check identification - you have a much better chance of not falling victim to such offences.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 0161 856 7124 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Crime prevention experts from GMP are now urging pensioners to keep all external doors locked at all times, whether they are at home or not.

To ‘stop and think’ before doors are opened to strangers. If possible, look out of the window or use a door viewer (spy-hole) to check whether they know the caller.

If there is a door bar or chain, it should be put on before opening the door and don’t open the door completely unless happy with the caller’s identity.

And pensioners should remember that friends, neighbours and relatives can set up password schemes or act as a nominated neighbour.

Rebecca Scott, 22, of Chesterton Grove, Worsley Mesnes, has been charged with burglary dwelling and is due before Wigan Magistrates on April 29.