Spate of burglaries in Ripon and Harrogate

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DETECTIVES are warning elderly residents to be on their guard after a spate of burglaries in Harrogate and Ripon.

Officers are investigating four incidents which happened on Saturday, April 2, and have released an e-fit of the man they are trying to trace.

In each of the burglaries, a man called at the home of a pensioner claiming to be from the water board and saying he needed to check their water.

Det Insp Andrea Kell, of Northallerton CID, said they are carrying out house to house inquiries as they believe all four incidents are linked.

“These crimes have been committed by a particularly callous individual who has preyed on the elderly and vulnerable, conning his way into their homes before stealing cash,” she said.

“I would urge anyone who has been approached in similar circumstances to call the police.”

At two of the properties, the man was allowed access and once inside their homes, he kept the pensioners distracted while he stole a quantity of cash.

The first report came from a house at Crakehall, the man had talked his way into the home of a couple in their 60s at 12.20pm and stolen an amount of cash.

The second was at around 1pm at Masham at the home of a woman in her 80s, who refused entry to the man. The third happened in Lark Lane in Ripon at around 2.30pm, again the man was refused entry. The fourth incident was reported in Roberts Square, Harrogate at 5.30pm. This time an amount of cash was taken.

The man has been described as white, around 5ft 5in to 5ft 8in tall, of average build with dark brown hair and a moustache. It is thought that he could be in his 30s or 40s.

Det Insp Kell said: “If you have any doubts or suspicions about any cold-caller who comes knocking, please don’t let them in.”

Anyone with information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 0845 6060247, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.