Blind man in his 60s and woman in her 90s among victims of string of distraction burglaries in Wakefield

A woman in her 90s and blind man in his 60s are among the victims of a string of distraction burglaries across Wakefield and Castleford.

By Holly Gittins
Monday, 30th November 2020, 12:15 pm
Updated Monday, 30th November 2020, 12:18 pm

Crime Prevention Officer Mark Isherwood said he had been made aware of a number of recent incidents where offenders had posed as officials from organisations including Yorkshire Water to gain entry into people's homes.

During the burglaries, offenders gained entry to the property by claiming there is an issue with the property's water supply.

Once inside, one offender distracted the owner, while a second searched the house, stealing items of jewellery and cash before leaving the scene.

A woman in her 90s and blind man in his 60s are among the victims of a string of distraction burglaries across Wakefield and Castleford. Stock image.

Among those targeted were a lady in her 90s from Wrenthorpe and a bland man in his 60s from Castleford.

Similar offences have been reported in areas of Leeds, Pontefract and Liversedge.

People are urged to look out for their family and friends, and report any information about the incidents to police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Ash Roberts, customer vulnerability manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Sadly, we’ve been made aware of a number of doorstep fraud incidents in our region where people have gained access to properties by claiming to be from Yorkshire Water.

“It is important people to remain vigilant and look out for anyone who may be vulnerable to these kinds of approaches, particularly given the recent rise in reports. All our staff wear a uniform and carry photo identity cards which they're happy to show to customers.

"If a caller claims to be from Yorkshire Water, ask to see their identity card and why they're visiting, or call us to check their identity.

“As part of our priority services register we also offer a free password scheme for people who want to add an extra layer of protection. Once in place our employees will use the designated password so people can be sure the caller is genuine.”

For more advice and information on avoiding doorstep crime, visit the West Yorkshire Police website.