OAP robbed as gang of bogus workers strikes again

Nichollfield. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Nichollfield. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A GANG of callous bogus workers sweeping the city has struck again by tricking a 81-year-old woman.

The latest incident in Newhaven follows a string of similar cases across Edinburgh and Midlothian, where thieves posed as council staff and utility workers.

Two smartly-dressed men arrived at the latest victim’s door in Nichollfield and claimed they needed to speak to her about her water supply.

She let them in, and they stole a number of personal items before fleeing the scene after being chased by a neighbour who had been called by the pensioner as she grew suspicious.

The gang was last seen running through a common stairwell in North Fort Street following the con on Saturday morning – just days after four pensioners were robbed in almost identical circumstances.

In the most extreme case, the bogus workmen stole “high-value” jewellery from a 77-year-old woman in Bonnyrigg after telling her they were from Midlothian Council.

Elderly residents in the city’s Loganlea Terrace, Ivanhoe Crescent and Hutchison Cottages were also targeted by the men, who claimed to either work for the local authority or the water board and were reported to have “unrecognisable badges”.

Scottish Water today revealed that homes in Slateford and Liberton were also approached by men claiming to be working for the board – however they were refused entry.

Detective Constable Mark Seymour said: “This is a despicable theft from an elderly lady in her own home by these two suspects who have managed to trick their way into her home by acting as bogus officials.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have seen the suspects as they fled the scene around 10.45am on Saturday to get in touch.

“A robust and thorough investigation is under way.”

Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s community team manager for Edinburgh, said he was concerned by the spate.

He said: “All our employees carry identity cards, which they are more than happy to show when requested to do so. Householders shouldn’t let anyone into their home until they are sure of their identity.”

There were up to three suspects in last week’s incidents, however the two suspects in the latest case have similar descriptions.

The first thief was about 6 feet tall with short dirty blond or grey hair, while the other is described as being about 5ft 10in tall with short dark hair. Both have slim builds.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com