Elderly Peterborough residents are being warned to be on their guard after police received a number of calls about a man calling at homes asking for money.
Since November 6, officers have received 10 reports of a similar nature whereby a man has called at an address asking for money, claiming he has either cleaned out their gutters or windows, or the gutters need to be cleaned.
He has then asked for a payment of between £40 to £80 for the work, and on one occasion he let himself in to an elderly woman’s home and left with the victim’s purse without her noticing at the time.
Helen O’Driscoll, crime reduction officer for Peterborough, said: “A 40-year-old man from Peterborough has been arrested in connection with some of the offences, however there could well be more incidents which have happened and gone unreported.
“I am asking anyone who has had this happen to them, or their relative/neighbour, to contact police – the more information we have about this the more likely we are to put an end to it.
“The offender seems to be targeting elderly residents, therefore I would urge anyone with elderly neighbours or relatives to look out for them and report anything suspicious.”
The reported incidents are:
November 6, 3pm in Muskham, Bretton: The victim is an elderly woman, daughter reported a man had knocked on the door asking for £40 for guttering work
November 9, 5.20pm in Apsley Way, Longthorpe: Man reporting on behalf of elderly parents who had a man come to the door and knock, but they refused to answer. He stood there trying for 20 minutes
November 10, 2pm in Manton, Bretton: Victim is a woman in her 70s, man knocked on the door re guttering
November 11, unknown time in Grafton Avenue, Netherton: Elderly man, man knocked on the front door and asked for £60 as he had cleaned the gutters, no money handed over
November 12, unknown time in Peacock Way, South Bretton: Elderly woman had a man come round wanting to clean the gutters, no money was paid, victim was very frightened
November 13, 11.10am in Thurston Gate, Longthorpe: Man asking for £80 for guttering work, was on a bike
November 13, 1.15pm Morpeth Road, Netherton: Elderly female, daughter reporting a man had knocked on her mum’s door and said guttering needed to be done and he would like £60. Told to go away
November 20, 2.30pm in Penine Way, Gunthorpe: Elderly man, male knocked on door after climbing over bolted gate and said he was owed £50 for guttering work, no money paid
November 20, 2pm: Gunthorpe Road, Newborough Victim is a man in his 90s, daughter reporting a man knocked on the door re guttering and said he was owed £60, no money was given
November 24, 10.30am Windemere Way, Gunthorpe: 86-year-old female victim, distraction burglary, door was left open and man entered through it, sat down in a chair in the living room and said guttering needed to be done. Left 15 minutes later and victim noticed purse had gone
The arrested man has been given bail until December 16.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online reporting system at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.