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Dublin: 13°C Monday 28 September 2020

Old man robbed when bogus caller distracted him trying to sell cushions

Another woman was also targeted on the same day but she raised the alarm before the bogus callers could steal anything.

The incident happened in the Ballynagard Crescent area of Derry on Friday.
The incident happened in the Ballynagard Crescent area of Derry on Friday.
Image: Google Streetview

DETECTIVES IN NORTHERN Ireland are appealing for information after a elderly man was left “badly shaken” following a distraction burglary on Friday.

The incident happened on the Ballynagard Crescent area of Derry at around 2.40pm.

A man called at the home of an elderly man and tried to sell the occupant cushions. After no success the bogus salesman left and a short time later a second man entered the house after ringing the door bell again trying to sell cushions.

The second man left after numerous requests and the elderly man discovered that a sum of cash was missing from the house.

The occupant was not hurt in the incident but was left badly shaken said the PSNI.


Police in Northern Ireland are also investigating a second incident at around 6pm on the same evening when two men called at a house in the Garden City area. The men gained access to the house by requesting a drink of water.

Whilst in the property they were very pushy, trying to sell items to the householder.

They left after the householder raised the alarm.

The PSNI warns that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home, while genuine callers will not mind being challenged about the authenticity of their identity.

Police this advice when dealing with unexpected visitors:

  • Before answering your door, ensure your back door is locked.
  • Think before you open the door – use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
  • Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card.
  • Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house.
  • If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.

Police are asking people with elderly relatives and neighbours to make them aware of these messages.

Tips to combat bogus callers who prey on the old and vulnerable>

About the author:

Amy Croffey

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