Bogus official warning after 83 year old targeted in Lancaster

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A warning has been issued after an 83-year old woman was the victim of a distraction burglary.

The crime happened at around 12.50pm on Monday, February 9 at an address in Tarnsyke Road, Lancaster.

The woman answered her door to a man purporting to be from the water board. He asked to check over the stop tap in her kitchen before asking her to check the running water in the bathroom.

At this point it is thought that the man went into the living room and took a substantial amount of cash from the woman’s handbag before running out of the property in the direction of Ryelands Road.

Three men aged 22, 46 and 57 from Lancaster and Morecambe were arrested in connection with the burglary and have been bailed until March 5.

DC Sam Johnson of Lancaster CID said: “This is a despicable offence committed against an elderly and vulnerable woman which has left her both shocked and upset.

“We are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time that may have seen a male running away from address or who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time to get in touch.

“I would also like to urge people, particularly the elderly and those who live alone, to remain vigilant and to ensure that your home is secure at all times and don’t allow anyone without valid identification access to your home. If you’re unsure, don’t let them in and keep the chain on the door whilst talking to them and check with the company that the person is purporting to be from.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 529 of February 9.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.