91-year-old man robbed in own home by bogus caller

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A 91-YEAR-OLD man was robbed in his home by an 18-stone bogus caller as a string of elderly residents were targeted by fraudsters pretending to be checking water supplies.

The elderly man asked for ID from the caller at his home in Broomhouse Road, but the suspect ignored him and later stole cash from a bedroom.

Within hours, an 89-year-old woman in Pennywell and an 87-year-old woman in Newhaven had callers at their door wanting to check the water system.

The 87-year-old woman said it was at least the fourth occasion she had been targeted by a bogus caller in recent years.

Police said they were not linking the trio of incidents, but were keeping an “open mind”.

A spate of bogus caller incidents across the Lothians recently have included several pretending to be from the “water board”. Scottish Water today urged residents not to allow workmen inside their homes unless they produce ID.

The 91-year-old man was robbed in the first incident at 3pm on Saturday.

At around 4pm that day, an 87-year-old woman in Newhaven was targeted. She told the Evening News: “I answered the door and this fellow said he had come to look at the taps. I asked for identification and he said it was in his van. He went away but never came back.

“We have a ramp for my invalid husband so I think that’s why they come to our door. In the past we’ve had two different men at the door saying they had to fix pipes and a woman pretending to be a home help.”

At 4.45pm on Saturday, an 89-year-old woman answered her door in Pennywell Villas to a man claiming to be from Scottish Water. Her neighbour challenged the suspect who quickly left.

The suspect from Broomhouse Road is described as white, 6ft tall, around 17 to 18 stone with a round face and clean-shaven complexion. He was wearing a black tammy hat, fluorescent yellow jacket, black trousers, black boots and spoke with an English accent.

One of the men who called in Newhaven Main Street is described as white, late 20s or early 30s, 6ft, well-built and clean-shaven. He wore a white woolly hat and dark trousers.

The third suspect is described as white with a large build, round face and dark hair. He wore black clothing and a fluorescent yellow sleeveless jacket.

A police spokesman said: “Genuine employees for utility companies no longer use terms such as ‘water board’ and will provide photographic identification which can be verified.”

Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s regional communities manager, said: “All our employees carry identity cards which they are more than happy to show.”