Elderly Harrogate man burgled after handing cash over to conmen

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An elderly Harrogate man was burgled after handing over cash to three conmen pretending to be roofers.

The three men arrived at the man's Rosset Avenue home on Wednesday, April 27, telling him they were there to check the roof.

They claimed that substantial work needed to be carried out on the roof which would cost thousands of pounds to complete.

The victim handed over cash to conmen but, as he went outside to inspect the work, one of the thieves went into his house to steal more money from the property.

Police are now appealing for witnesses with the victim saying he remembers seeing a white van parked near his drive between 12.30pm and 4pm.

Officers have also warned homeowners to be on their guard against 'bogus callers' who take advantage of people's trust.

DC Quita Passmore said: “I would also urge people to be on their guard, and never allow themselves to be pressured into agreeing to work on their property.

"Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trailer.

"Never agree to any work or sign anything on the spot, and if you ask a trader to leave and they don’t, call the police.”

Last month, North Yorkshire Police took part in Operation Rogue Trader, a nationwide week of action targeting doorstep criminals.

At the time, DC Lesley Raffan, of North Yorkshire Police's Force Intelligence Bureau, said: "Bogus callers and distraction burglars take advantage of people's trust in the most callous way, only to trick them out of money or steal from them.

"I have seen first-hand the devastating impact that these criminals can have on their victims, who are often older or vulnerable.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for DC Quita Passmore or the Harrogate Investigation Hub. Please quote reference 12160073046.