Masked burglars break into home of another elderly woman
A MASKED gang who terrorised an elderly woman in her home are believed to have struck again.
Police say they are linking an incident where four men forced their way into the home of a woman in her 80s in Badminton Road, Yate, with a similar attack in nearby Coalpit Heath less than three weeks earlier.
The latest burglary happened on Monday at about 6.45pm.
The victim answered the door to four men who burst in and stole two purses.
She described them as being about 6ft tall, white, stocky, dressed in black and wearing face coverings.
The stolen purses were found dumped on Bristol Road in Winterbourne, next to the Nicholls Field playing fields used by Winterbourne Academy, at about 8.25pm on the same day.
Police officers have carried out house-to-house enquiries in the area and have been scouring CCTV for evidence.
They believe the same gang may have been responsible for a break-in at the home of another woman in her 80s, in Boundary Road, Coalpit Heath, on November 18.
In that burglary four masked men took a safe and pension money from the handbag of their victim, after ordering her to sit in a chair while they searched her home.
Avon and Somerset police say the victim in the Yate burglary being given extra security and support by officers from Avon and Somerset’s Be Home Safe service.
A spokesperson said: "Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or noticed any suspicious activity in the area.
"They would also like to hear from anyone who witnessed/has dashcam footage of the stolen purses being dumped.
"Police are reminding residents to use a door chain or guard whenever they answer the door to unknown or unexpected visitors. Always ensure that all unattended doors and windows are closed and locked before opening the door.
"Remember you don’t have to answer the door if you have any concerns, and a genuine caller will happily come back at a time when you can have someone with you.
"We would urge anyone with elderly relatives, friends or neighbours, to check in on them to remind them about the important safety advice for dealing with cold callers coming to the door."
Anyone with information about the burglary should call the police on 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 275 077.
Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
The police have issued safety advice for dealing with cold callers:
· Don’t leave doors or windows unlocked
· Be wary of leaving doors or windows that are easily accessible open for long periods of time
· If a relative or carer needs regular access to the house, ensure they have a key
· If you have a safety chain on your door, ensure it’s on before opening the door
· If you don’t have a safety chain, consider getting one fitted
· If you don’t recognise a caller, always ask to see their ID to ensure they are who they say they are, even if you are expecting someone
· If they can’t provide ID or you are still not sure, make them wait outside while you contact the organisation that they claim to represent
· If you are suspicious of a caller tell police straight away – ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101