Thieves posing as local authority officials tricked a vulnerable Manchester widow into leaving her home only to steal jewellery of enormous sentimental value, including an engagement ring from her late husband.
The incident occurred around 1pm on January 31 at the pensioner’s home on Calvecroft Road in Peel Hall.
The 88-year-old woman, who has not been named, was in her lounge when she saw two men opening her front gate and approaching her home.
She was then encouraged to come round to the back door, which she did.
One of the men went on to pretend that they needed to look at her shed and flagging, claiming it may have to be moved because of ongoing building work in the area.
This however was simply a ploy to lure her out of her door while the other man snuck in through the back door.
The pensioner eventually grew suspicious and asked for identification. At this point, she turned to see the other man running out of the back door and the man who distracted her also ran off.
Upon entering her home again, she found that four of her rings had been stolen including a gold band three diamond ring – an engagement ring from the widow’s late husband.
Police in south Manchester are appealing to anyone who has information about the burglary to come forward and are also asking residents to be on their guard should the offenders try to strike again.
Detective Constable Lee Fisher said: “It is either an act of pure desperation or sheer wickedness on the part of the offenders, but regardless of their motives, to concoct such a ruse and lure a widow from her own home in order to steal jewellery is truly appalling.”
“It is not just the monetary value of the rings, but the sentimental value attached to them that simply cannot be replaced that has absolutely devastated this woman”.
One of the men was described as being white, the other possibly of Mediterranean appearance or Asian.
Detective Constable Fisher also says: “I want to appeal to anyone who has information about the two men responsible to come forward. Did you see these men acting suspiciously? Have they come knocking on your door with a similar story? If you have any information, please come forward.
“I would urge people living in this and neighbouring communities to be vigilant. If anyone comes to your door and gives you this story, or something similar, you would be right to be suspicious and ask for immediate identification before you open the door.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111
Image courtesy of Mikey via flickr, with thanks