Detectives in Belfast are appealing for information following a burglary in the Springfield Avenue area of west Belfast at around 1pm yesterday (Friday 25th March).
Detective Sergeant Magee said: "It was reported that a male had entered the home of a woman in her 80s and led her to believe he was there to fix the water.
"The homeowner asked the male to leave after he had entered a number of rooms in the house. The male then asked for a sum of cash before leaving.
"It is not believed anything was taken and while the victim was, thankfully, physically uninjured, she has been left shaken by what has happened and we are following all lines of enquiry to identify those involved. We recognise the impact that this sort of despicable crime will have on older residents in our community who are, perhaps, fearful."
Detective Sergeant Magee continued: “There are a number of initiatives which are really helpful, including the ‘No Cold Calling’, the ‘Nominated Neighbour’ scheme, QuickCheck, Neighbourhood Watch and ScamwiseNI Partnership and details of all of these can be found on our website at www.psni.police.uk/.
“I would appeal to anyone with who may have witnessed this incident or who may have seen anyone suspicious in the area or have dash-cam footage, to call detectives on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference number 956 of 25/03/22, or to submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/."
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/.
Advice for older people:
Before answering the front door, make sure the back door is locked.
If you have a door chain, remember to use it before opening the door. If not, we recommend you get one installed.
Ask the caller for their identification and check it carefully.
Ask them to wait outside and close the door - genuine callers will not mind.
Ring Quick Check on 101. The call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained police call handler. They will check with the company that the person at the door is genuine. If they are not or they think that there is something suspicious, the operator will be able send the police to you.
Do not let anyone into the property until you are satisfied as to who they are.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.