West Lothian woman scammed by men impersonating police officers

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A woman in her 60s has been left distressed after four men impersonating police officers entered her Bathgate home and made off with cash.

They approached the back of her home in the Falside area on Monday, March 11 at about 5:25pm, telling her they were police who needed to check inside her property as part of inquiries in the area.

One of the men, who had a walkie-talkie type radio, stayed downstairs talking to the woman while the three others went upstairs to raid a bedroom.

They then left the property through the back door, with one carrying a bag containing two money tins and a handbag - in total a low four-figure sum of cash was stolen.

Constable Andy Tuplin, from the Community Investigation Unit, said: “This has been a disgraceful intrusion into the woman’s home who has understandably been left distressed by the incident.

“We believe the men were not dressed in standard police uniform, however claimed to be police officers to the woman at her door. The man who stayed with the woman downstairs was described as having with him a walkie-talkie type radio.

“The men left carrying the stolen property in either a white carrier bag or a white pillow case, and we’d urge anyone who saw these men in the area yesterday evening, or can help us identify who is responsible, to contact officers as soon as possible.

“We understand that these sort of criminals can be extremely convincing and we’d urge people to be vigilant to those arriving unexpectedly at your home. Always ask for identification and if someone says they are a police officer and you aren’t sure, please call 101 to check their identity before allowing them inside.”

A police spokeswoman said they do not currently have any further description of what the men were wearing, other than that one of them was wearing jeans.

She said that the woman was convinced more by what the men said as opposed to their clothing.

The spokeswoman added that this incident is the first of its kind to be reported locally in “recent times.”

Inquiries are ongoing to identify those involved and anyone who witnessed what happened is urged to come forward.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 3732 of 11 March, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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