Beware 'unscrupulous' characters, police tell elderly after jailing Hornchurch trickster
PUBLISHED: 14:21 19 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:32 19 September 2014
Police are warning elderly residents to be vigilante of "unscrupulous" characters following the jailing of a Hornchurch trickster who conned an elderly woman who died before she could see justice.
Susan Raymond, 40, of Dunningford Close, Hornchurch, was sentenced to 32-months imprisonment last month for conning the 87-year-old woman after she was caught out by forensic officers who discovered her fingerprints at the scene.
The victim, who was regularly visited by carers, was in her home in Mungo Park Road, Rainham, when Raymond knocked at her door in May.
“Who is it?” the victim called out. After a pause she said she could come in believing it was her carer.
Raymond asked for a glass of water but the victim protested for her to leave.
Instead, Raymond darted from room to room before fleeing the flat with a purse containing £60 and a bankcard.
Police investigating the theft quickly linked it to a second incident on the same day.
Raymond had gained access to an 89-year-old man’s flat who had let her in believing it was his granddaughter.
The thief asked the man for a cup of tea but he refused and she left the flat empty handed.
Police arrested Raymond five days later in her own home and she initially tried to trick them too.
She denied her true identity and claimed to be her own sister but the clever coppers got her to admit her identity when they threatened to bring in forensic teams.
Det Con Mark Eve, who led the investigation, said: “Artifice burglars prey on the most vulnerable in our communities, some of whom never recover from the effects of the crime.
“Raymond will have time to reflect on this as she serves her sentence. My only regret is that this elderly lady did not live to see the sentencing which may have brought her a measure of comfort. “I would warn people to be vigilant when not expecting calls and any unsuspected callers should be challenged.
“Anyone who cares for a vulnerable person should make them aware of these unscrupulous people.”
Raymond pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and was ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge at her August 14 sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court.