Crooks ransack home of 92-year-old after lying that neighbour had died of coronavirus

3 April 2020, 15:59 | Updated: 3 April 2020, 16:45

Police are investigating a 'coronavirus distraction burglary'
Police are investigating a 'coronavirus distraction burglary'. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

An investigation has been launched after a 92-year-old woman had her home ransacked in an "appalling" coronavirus distraction burglary.

Officers were called to the "vulnerable" victim's house on Grasemere Road in Royton, Oldham, at around 7:30pm on Thursday.

Police are looking for two men, both dressed in all black, who knocked on the victim's door and falsely informed her that one of her neighbours had died of coronavirus.

The offenders then offered to clean the pensioner's house as if they were lending her a helping hand.

However, when she went to find some cleaning products for the pair to use, they stole a number of items from her house, including jewellery, money and her purse.

One of the men was described as having an olive-skin complexion, while the other was wearing a bobble hat.

The elderly woman was not injured during the burglary but she has been left "understandably distraught".

Chief Inspector Trevor Harrison, of GMP’s Oldham district, said: “This is an absolutely appalling crime, which has taken advantage of a vulnerable and elderly woman at a time where we, as a society, should be looking out for her. This is the lowest of the low.

“I would make a direct appeal to anyone who was in the local area around the time of the incident to please get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity. Sometimes, even the smallest detail can progress our investigation and help us bring those responsible to justice.

“Officers will continue to support the 92-year-old woman at this upsetting time and I want to stress that we are treating this as an absolute priority. I know the public will support us in this.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 8922, quoting incident number 2104 of 02/04/20. Reports can also be made anonymously, via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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