Doorstep criminals target elderly and vulnerable people

September 29 2020

Officers from Operation Remedy who are investigating a series of distraction burglaries are appealing for witnesses after another one took place in Yate on September 17.
Another seven incidents, which have involved a man and a woman targeting elderly people, have been spread across Southmead, Brentry, Shirehampton and Thornbury.
At around 5.45pm two men attended the property of an elderly woman in Rodborough. One man approached the door and spoke to the occupant, before walking her round the side of the house. The other man was hiding in a bush and ran into the house while the woman was distracted. A neighbour witnessed it and ran out to stop them.
The first man is described as white, around 35-years-old, approximately 5’8’’ and of medium build. He had short, cropped light brown hair and was very smartly dressed in a light blue shirt, navy trousers and brown coloured shoes, He was also carrying what appeared to be a blue laptop case in his hand, and was wearing a blue surgical type mask across his face.
The second man is described as white, middle aged and wearing a dark coloured cap. He had longer hair that appeared to be tied up in a ponytail.
Designated Investigating Officer from Operation Remedy, Alastair Binnie, said: “This is the eighth incident we have had in the area over the past few weeks where elderly people are targeted. Luckily, in the majority of the cases, the offenders have been unsuccessful in stealing anything, however it has been incredibly distressing for the victims. If anyone has seen any suspicious activity that they think could help with our investigation, then please get in touch immediately.
“I commend the quick thinking of the neighbour who helped to stop this. I would also urge anyone with elderly relatives, friends or neighbours, to check in on them to remind them about the important safety advice for dealing with cold callers coming to the door. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call 999.”
• A woman in Elmfield Road, Southmead has been targeted twice, on 23rd and 30th August
• Another woman in Elmfield Road, Southmead was targeted on 24th August
• On 25th August a man in Pensfield Park, Brentry was targeted
• A couple were targeted in Pembroke Road, Shirehampton on 31st August
• On 4th September, a vulnerable woman was targeted in North Road, Thornbury
• A woman with restricted mobility was targeted in Buckingham Parade, Thornbury on Saturday 5th September
The man is described as white, 5ft 8in, very thin, with long straggling hair, who spoke with an accent, possibly Irish.
The woman is described as white, 5ft 8in, with long dark hair and dark clothes, who also spoke with an accent, possibly Irish.