Elderly targeted by bogus official

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Elderly people have been hit by a spate of “distraction burglaries” in the Ripon area in the last week.

Residents in Ripon, Masham, Crakehall and Harrogate were targeted by a man claiming to be from the “water board” between noon and 5.30pm on Saturday, April 2.

The man conned his way into two houses by saying he needed to check the water, and once inside distracted the residents while he stole cash.

The bogus official struck first in Crakehall at around 12.20pm, and stole cash from a couple in their 60s who had let him into their home.

He knocked on the doors of an woman in her 80s in Masham at around 1pm, and a home in Lark Lane, Ripon around 2.30pm, but was refused entry to both. At about 5.30pm he was let into a home in Roberts Square, Harrogate, and took another amount of cash.

Police have issued an e-fit picture of the man (inset) they believe is responsible – described as being in his 30s or 40s, white, 5ft 5in to 5ft 8in tall, average build and with dark brown hair and a moustache.

Anyone who can help identify him or who may have been targeted is urged to contact DC Nicky Wright of Harrogate CID on 0845 6060247 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.