Police in Sheffield are appealing for witnesses and raising awareness after an elderly victim was robbed of £800 during a distraction burglary.
At around 12.30pm on Tuesday 17 April, it was reported two men had attended a property on Southey Drive, Sheffield, claiming to be tree surgeons.
The men said they had come to prune a tree following a request from a neighbour, who was going to pay half of the cost. The owner agreed and paid the men £300 for the work.
Upon completing the work the men returned to the property, stating the victim had given them £200 instead of £300.
The victim provided the men with another £100 before they left in what has been described as a white van.
After the men had left, the victim discovered a further £400 and a watch have been stolen from his living room.
PC Susannah Taylor who is leading the investigation into the incident said: “I’d like to offer my reassurance that work is currently ongoing to identify the men involved and we have been making enquiries in the area and speaking to members of the community to gather statements. I am now appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time, or has information about the incident, to please report it.
“I’d also like to raise awareness of steps and action members of the public can take to protect themselves for bogus officials and distraction burglars. When answering the door to people you don’t know use a chain if you have one, always ask for proof of identification and if you still remain unsure call the company to verify where they are from. Similarly, please avoid keeping large quantities of cash in your home, always keep your doors and windows locked and report any concerns you have to police.”
One of the men is described as white, around 6ft 2incs tall, of a thin build and wearing a harness, black t-shirt and woolly gloves. The second is described as white, around 5ft 7incs tall, of a medium build, with short dark hair and wearing a black t-shirt with 'Tree Surgeon' written across the front.
If you saw these men or have any information that can assist officers with their enquiries, please call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 486 of 17 April.