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Witnesses sought following distraction burglary in Bristol

We are appealing for information following a distraction burglary on an elderly victim in Eastville.

The incident happened yesterday between 9-9.30am at a property in Eastville, Bristol.

The victim, a 90 year old man, was approached at his home by two unknown men advising he needed his guttering cleaned. He agreed and paid the men a large amount of cash to do the work.

The victim then made himself and the two men a cup of tea and upon returning from the kitchen, realised they had left via the back door. The men had also pulled a cupboard off a wall whilst attempting to steal a safe hidden in the cupboard but had been unsuccessful and left empty handed.

The first man can be described as white, aged mid-40s, of stocky build and around 5’7”. His hair was grey and thinning and he was wearing a check shirt and blue jeans. The second man can be described as white, aged late-20s, of slim build and spoke with an Irish accent. He has short black hair and was also wearing jeans.

As part of our investigation specialist crime scene investigators have examined the scene while officers have also carried out house to house enquiries. Our investigation is currently ongoing and we are particularly keen to hear from members of the public near the Eastville area who may have recently been offered guttering/roofing services or saw a vehicle with ladders in the vicinity.

Detective Clare Ball said: “These men preyed upon an elderly and vulnerable victim and we are committed to identifying and apprehending them.

“From our enquiries, we understand these men may have been attempting similar burglaries by approaching residents and offering roofing or guttering services. If any members of the public believe they have seen these men or know of any neighbours being offered similar services, we really want to hear from you.

“We know elderly and vulnerable people are commonly targeted for distraction burglaries so we ask residents to follow our tips for staying alert to distraction burglaries and keep an eye on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours.”

Follow these tips for staying alert to distraction burglaries:

  • Never open the door to an unexpected caller until you’ve checked their identification – use a door chain or viewer, intercom or a ‘smart’ doorbell. Genuine callers expect it.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.
  • If you are suspicious of a caller tell us straight away – ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101.
  • Store any high value items such as jewellery, passports and cash in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault.
  • Keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room.
  • If you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to help you deal with unexpected callers.
  • Join Neighbourhood Watch.

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219275136