A woman in her 70s was victim to a burglary when two men entered her Frankley home uninvited late last night (Thursday 22nd September) and claimed they were police officers.
The 76 year old woman, who suffers from dementia, was asleep in the living room of her home in Holly Hill Road. At around 11.45pm, she woke to find two men in the room, having broken through a back gate and entered her home through an unlocked rear door.
Claimed to be police officers
The men said that they were police officers and that they needed to take her bank cards, along with her PIN numbers, as there was a problem.
When the woman could not remember the PIN numbers, the offenders even telephoned her son in an attempt to get them. He realised something was not right and called the police.
The men had left the scene, with the lady’s purse and contents, when police arrived.
The burglary followed an earlier incident in Longbridge Lane: an elderly couple called the police when two men were knocking urgently on their door to be let in, saying that they were police officers and that they were being burgled. When the householders offered to call the police the men ran off.
There have been a number of similar incidents in the area this week. In each incident, two men claimed to be police officers.
On Tuesday, a 90 year old woman was targeted by two men, who also were carrying a toddler. They made off with just £5 after entering her home in Loynells Road, Rednal.
On Wednesday, a couple in their 80s were victims when two men entered their home in Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield, making off with jewellery and money. The couple’s family released CCTV footage of the men in this incident.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Dave Cockbill from Birmingham Police’s specialist burglary team, said: “The latest offence was particularly brazen: the men gained entry via an insecure rear door and told the woman they needed to seize her bank cards.
“These are truly despicable offences. It seems elderly, vulnerable people are being deliberately targeted. We cannot say definitively that these offences are linked but we are not ruling out the possibility.
“We’ve secured some good quality CCTV footage showing the men responsible for the Northfield burglary. Someone will know who these men are; they are cruel thieves and do not deserve protection.
“I would urge anyone who suspects they know these men, have seen them, or have information about these offences to call me as soon as possible before any other elderly people suffer at their hands.”
Anyone with any information on any of the incidents is asked to call DC Cockbill at West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact them online
CCTV Footage from Frankley Beeches Road burglary:
Please remain vigilant and check on vulnerable and elderly family members, friends and neighbours. Make sure they know how to keep safe and get help if needed.
- Don’t answer the door to people you don’t know if you don’t feel safe – use a spy hole if you have one, or check through a front window. Never feel embarrassed to refuse to answer the door or let strangers in.
- Use a door chain if you do open the door.
- Don’t feel embarrassed to call the police to report any concerns or suspicious behaviour.
- If you don’t know the caller, ask to see their identity card. Check it carefully, and keep the chain on while you do this. Genuine callers won’t mind if you close the door while you check. If in doubt, telephone the organisation to verify they are genuine by using a number from the telephone directory and not a number given to you by the caller.
- If you’re still unsure of a caller, ask them to come back at a pre-arranged time, then have someone with you. If they’re genuine, they won’t mind.
- Beware of being distracted by one person while another steals your property – make sure other doors into your home (side, back) are locked while you are at the front door.
- If in doubt, keep them out. Phone the police on 101 if you are worried and in an emergency dial 999.
- Please share this advice with elderly or vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives and check on them regularly.