Hornchurch couple’s warning to pensioners after being duped by conmen

� An elderly couple who fell victim to distraction burglars are urging other pensioners to be on guard against cold-calling conmen.

Pauline and Terence Kelly, 87, of Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch are warning others after they were targeted by two men who told them a ball had gone into their garden on February 8.

Pauline, 84, said: “We would advise anyone to ask when someone comes to the door and to always be on guard, and don’t trust anyone.”

The two men called at 2.30pm and told the couple that their brother’s ball had fallen into the garden.

While they followed Terence into the garden, Pauline opened the back door leading to the garden where they managed to distract the couple, and one of the men went indoors.

The couple discovered they had been burgled an hour later when they noticed jewellery and between �50 and �100 was missing.

Terence said: “We didn’t expect that sort of thing to happen to us, its just diabolical because we just wanted to help them find it, but now we just feel stupid.”

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The suspects are white, between the ages of 18 and 25.

The police are urging people to always ask for identification from anyone who they don’t know and for neighbours and family members to keep an eye on elderly people.

Det Insp Tony Cox said: “I don’t want to scare people because this does not happen everyday, but it affects the people more than normal burglaries.

“These people who commit these offences are just cowards and I would urge anyone who sees anyone suspicious at their door to always call the police and to try to verify who they are.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call Havering police on 0300 123 1212 or 01708 779400.

n For advice on bogus callers go to www.hcsp.org.uk, www.ageconcernhavering.org.uk and www. havering.gov.uk.