Bogus workmen incidents in Midlothian and Borders

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Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses following a number of bogus workmen incidents and thefts across the Force area.

All incidents happened between Tuesday, June 7, and Wednesday, June 8, in Midlothian and the Borders.

The first incident happened around 3.40pm on Tuesday at a property in Forest Gardens, Galashiels.

An 85-year-old man was within his home when he saw a male enter his front garden gate and went to the door to speak with him.

On opening the door, the elderly occupant noticed another two men coming through the gate and heading for his back garden.

The first suspect tried to engage the man in conversation while the other two attempted to gain access to the house through the kitchen window.

When the man noticed what was going on he warned the men off and they fled the scene before being lost to sight.

Around 10 minutes later, an elderly couple in Mill Court, Stow, were within their home when a man called at their door claiming to be from the Water Board and asked to get access to their stopcock in the kitchen.

The 75-year-old woman and her 78-year-old husband allowed the man entry to the property and followed him to the kitchen. At this time a second man has entered the living room before both suspects made their excuses and began to leave.

At this time the occupants noticed a third man exiting from their bedroom and leaving with the other two men.

The victims then noticed that a sum of cash had been stolen from the bedroom and contacted police.

Men matching the description were then seen driving in a blue hatchback car through Newtongrange at around 4.15pm. The vehicle committed a number of road traffic offences before heading South on the A7.

At around 4pm the following day (Wednesday), a woman answered her door in Stone Place, Mayfield and was greeted by a man who spoke quickly claiming he needed to check her water.

The woman refused him entry to her home and saw him make off in a blue car with at least one other passenger.

Police believe these incidents to be linked and are now urging anyone who remembers seeing the men to come forward.

The first suspect is described as sallow-skinned, around 30-years-old, 5ft 8ins tall with short dark hair, dark stubble and was known to be wearing a navy t-shirt and jeans on Tuesday 7th June.

The second suspect is described as white, around 30-years-old, 5ft 8ins tall and wearing a blue baseball cap.

The third suspect is described as being white and around 30-years-old.

A police spokesman said: “It would appear that these men have travelled across Midlothian and the Scottish Borders via the A7 while attempting to con elderly residents and rob them of their possessions.

“Anyone who believes they saw these men and can assist us in identifying them should contact police immediately.

“Similarly, anyone with information that can help with our enquiries is also asked to get in touch.

“Any legitimate utilities worker will carry ID and will be happy to show it when asked.

“If you have any doubts or concerns about someone calling at your door do not allow then entry to your property and contact the relevant company for verification. If this reveals the caller to be false, phone the police.”

Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.

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