Warning to elderly as bogus caller robs woman in home

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A BOGUS caller who pretended to offer gardening services before forcing his way into a pensioner’s home and robbing her of cash and jewellery is believed to be targeting elderly residents in Mountcastle.

A 71-year-old woman, who lived alone, was robbed by the suspect after he called at her door on Wednesday, offering to work on her garden before staging the raid.

Police later discovered that the same man visited another address nearby 15 minutes earlier but was refused entry by the elderly resident.

Now detectives are linking the suspect to similar incidents in the Mountcastle area in recent weeks.

Detective Sergeant John Graham, from Craigmillar CID, is leading the inquiry. He said: “The victim answered the door to this man on Wednesday when he claimed to be looking for gardening work. This lady said she didn’t need any done and refused, and that’s when he forced past her.

“He stole a small amount of money and some jewellery which had a great sentimental attachment for her.

“We carried out door-to-door inquiries in the area and later found that the same man had visited another address nearby.

“This man is unusual for a bogus caller because they do not typically employ violence. They try to trick their way into someone’s home. When this man has found a target, he simply forced his entry.

“There have been similar incidents in the Mountcastle area recently so we are looking at links to those.”

The suspect is described as being white, in his early 20s, 5ft 10in tall, slim build, with short dark hair. He spoke with what might have been an English accent and was wearing a black woollen donkey-style jacket.

A police spokesman said: “We are appealing for anyone with any information regarding this robbery to come forward. This man has been targeting potentially vulnerable people in their homes, and we are keen to hear from anyone who might recognise his description.

“In addition, we would urge everyone to be wary of any cold callers. While it’s important to stress that this woman did nothing wrong, it’s important that people stay vigilant and verify the identity of anyone who knocks at their door.”

amcewen@edinburghnews.com