OFFICERS are warning residents to remain vigilant after distraction thieves targeted a vulnerable resident in Crewe.

Sometime between midday and 1pm on Thursday, September 7, two men visited the home of an elderly woman in Meredith Street, Crewe, claiming that her gutters needed cleaning.

The pair offered to complete the work for a small fee, which the victim agreed.

One of the men then asked for hot water, and chatted to the victim in her kitchen. Unbeknown to her the second man entered her living room and stole nearly £500 from her savings box.

Both of the suspects are described as white men, with irish accents and aged approximately 30 to 35. The first man was of stocky build and the second man was slim build. They were both travelled to the address in a white van.

PC Vicki Greenhoff said: “The suspects in this case targeted this victim due her vulnerability and she has been left extremely upset by the incident. The offenders betrayed the victims trust by going into her home and stealing a large amount of money, which will have a big impact on her.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to remain vigilant of anyone who comes to your door offering to carry out work, and I urge people to report any suspicious activity to us on 101.

“I’d also ask residents to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours, reporting any suspicious activity to police and checking on your neighbour’s welfare.”

There are a number of steps you can take to avoid doorstep crime:

• Always check the identity of the doorstep caller by telephoning the company they are claiming to be from. Use the telephone listed in your local phonebook or off the company website. Do not use a number the caller gives you.

• Check whether traders are members of the Local Authority Assured Trader Schemes or the Government Trust Mark Scheme.

• Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or a friend who can help you find a reputable trader.

• Don’t agree to anything on the spot, or sign anything. Do not feel pressured into having work carried out

• Never pay cash upfront and don’t ever go to the bank or cashpoint with a trader.

Anyone with information in relation to the Meredith Street incident is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 567 of 12/9/2017. Alternatively information can be reported anonymously, via Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.