Appeal after suspected bogus caller incident in Gateshead

27 Apr 2017 13:00 PM

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Police are appealing for information after a suspected bogus caller incident in Gateshead.

On Monday, April 25, a 69-year-old man living at an address on Holme Avenue in Whickham received a call from a man claiming to be a council worker.

He knew his first name and and told him that he needed to arrange a utility service inspection to be conducted at his address.

The man then attended the man's property at around 6:45pm that evening carrying a dark holdall and wearing dark overalls. The man was carrying a clipboard but he did not offer any identification.

He then entered a number of different rooms within the house before leaving with a quantity of cash that he had stolen from the occupant.

The victim of the burglary contacted police when he realised the money was gone and officers have now confirmed that the man was not a legitimate council worker.

An investigation has been launched and detectives investigating the case have appealed for anyone with any information about the incident to come forward.

The man is described as white, of slim build, around 5ft 11in, aged in his mid 30s and with dark short hair. He was wearing dark coloured overalls.

Detective Constable Shaun Atherton, of the Central Burglary Team, said: "This was a planned and calculated burglary where the offender has gone to extreme lengths to deceive his victim.

"We would not be surprised if he has tried to do this before or if he attempts to do it again and we need help from the public to identify him and speak to him about the incidents.

"If you have been contacted by somebody with similar claims then we need to hear from you so we can prevent this from happening again.

"Victims in these types of cases tend to be vulnerable people so we would ask family members and neighbours to look out for those people who could be targeted by opportunistic criminals.

"Genuine traders and council workers will always be happy to show identification and if they refuse then you should not let them into your home."

If you saw this man acting suspiciously in the area on Monday, or have any information that may help police, contact officers on 101 quoting log 155 26/04/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.