THE son of a 91-year-old woman who was duped into handing over £170 to a conman has spoken of his anger and disgust.
The grandmother was targeted by a man dressed in a high-vis jacket who claimed to have known one of her relatives and was calling to carry out repairs to her roof.
He called at her home on Bosworth Road in Chain Lane on Friday, June 13 and after convincing her his story was truthful he ended up charging her £170, which she handed over but asked for a receipt.
He said he would go and get one but didn’t return. And no work had been carried out on the roof.
Asking to remain anonymous to protect the identity of his mother her 68-year-old son said: “My mum is disabled and has a bad leg. There’s no way she would have gone to the door normally but she was waiting for a prescription.
“She answered the door and said hi! And explained that he was a member of the family and he was here to do a job for her.
“He got her confidence straight away even though she didn’t know the family member she mentioned.
“He mixed a little bit of cement in front of her outside the door so she could see it but did nothing. It all took around 20 minutes.”
Describing his mother as strong and independent he said she had been “upset” by her ordeal.
“You don’t know how many more people he’s done. I’m really mad about it and just wish I’d have been there. Some people have no scruples at all.”
He suggested that the house was targeted because of tell-tale signs outside. “The house has handrails outside and these people look for these types of things.
“But she’s not a frightened person. We have told her to forget about it. I said it’s just one of those things but I’m seething inside.
“This isn’t about the money. How can people do something like that.”
Detective Constable Victoria Grant St Helens CID said: "It's hard to believe anyone would stoop so low as to steal money from a 91-year-old woman and we are doing everything we can to arrest the cowardly individual who's responsible.
"The victim has given us a very clear description of the man who called at her home and I would appeal to anyone who recognises anything to get in touch with us.
"Offenders like this think nothing of deliberately targeting elderly people in their own homes and often appear entirely plausible.
"If you think you may have been targeted by this offender or you have suffered any type of bogus official or distraction burglary, I would urge you to call the police. I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that we take every report we receive extremely seriously and will carry out a full and thorough investigation.
Call detectives in St Helens CID on 0151 777 6811, or via the police non-emergency 101 number. Alternatively Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."
DC Grant added: "I would appeal to people across St Helens to keep an eye on any elderly and vulnerable neighbours. If you notice anyone suspicious in the area, always call the police or contact your local neighbourhood policing team for more advice.