Police have told Harborough people to be wary of bogus tradesmen after sentimental items were taken from an elderly woman during a distraction burglary in Market Harborough.
The victim was at her home address off Douglas Drive in the town at around 5pm on Monday (April 30) when she heard a knock on the door. She was met by a man who said he was due to do some work to the cladding on her roof.
The woman had arranged for some work to be done two weeks ago and let the man into her house.
Before doing any work, he asked the victim if he could use the toilet and went upstairs. He then came back down and told her that he needed to move his van.
When the victim realised that the man had been gone for around 10 minutes, she went upstairs and noticed that jewellery, watches and cash had been taken. She locked her front door and called police.
Around five minutes later, the man returned, knocking on her front door. The victim refused to let him back into the house and it is believed the man left Oak Close in a white van.
Among the items stolen were an eternity ring, an engraved watch belonging to the victim’s late husband and a gold link watch that he had bought her. A bag of coins, a ring and a chain with a pendant were also taken, as well as cash from the victim’s purse.
The man is white, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall and believed to be in his mid-40s. He is of a slender build and has dark, medium-length hair with short, dark stubble on his face. The victim said he had uneven, yellowing teeth and was wearing a thin, grey long-sleeve t-shirt and dark coloured jeans.
He spoke in a slow, slightly slurred voice and with a non-local accent. PC 180 Matt Smith, the investigating officer, said: “The victim let this man into her house believing that he was there to do some work on her roof.
“He asked to use the toilet but instead took the opportunity to go into her bedroom and help himself to a number of sentimental items. I ask anyone who has come across this man where they live, or who has been offered these items for sale, to contact me as soon as possible.
“I would also urge people to speak to friends, family members and neighbours about such incidents so that they don’t fall victim of such a crime.”
Anyone with information can contact PC Smith on 101, quoting crime number 18*195382.