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Conmen trick their way in

POLICE have urged Hyndburn residents to be on their guard after bogus callers struck twice within minutes.

POLICE have urged Hyndburn residents to be on their guard after bogus callers struck twice within minutes.

One victim has spoken out after two men tricked their way into her home, in Albert Street, Church, stealing two watches. The woman, who does not wish to be named, was one of two elderly victims targeted by the pair on Sunday morning.

She said: "The men came to my door at about 8.50am and they said they were building a wall at the back of my house and that the driver had damaged my back yard wall. They said they needed my name for insurance purposes, so I gave them my name. Then they asked if they could use the telephone to phone their company. So I went into the house to get the mobile.

"One of them followed me in, so I ushered him out into the hallway. I gave him the phone and he said he couldn't get a signal and walked through into the kitchen. I followed him and the other man was still at the door. He then said there was a lot of interference and he called in the other man and asked him to try and see if he could get a signal.

"I was trying to keep an eye on both of them. They said they could not get through and would have to go to the firm and report it. I asked for the name of the firm and their telephone number and got an envelope and a pen. For a few minutes as I wrote it down, I turned my back on them. The two watches were on the units."

She is now urging other residents not to let anyone they don't know into their homes.

She added: "If people ask to come in to use the phone, you should shut the door and lock it and go and get the phone, and then lock the door again afterwards. That's the mistake I made. I expected them to stay outside while I got the phone.

"When I have thought about it since, I thought how stupid I have been but the police said that they are very clever. It's not until afterwards when you sit down and think, you see little things that don't add up but at the time you don't think of them."

The other incident was shortly before 9am in Countess Street, Accrington, where a woman in her 80s had her purse stolen.

The men have both been described as white and around 5ft 9ins tall. One is thought to be about 30 and was wearing a dark woollen hat, a brown scarf covering his face, a dirty fawn waterproof jacket and dark jeans. The second was described as slim with a thin face and clean. He was wearing a black woollen hat, a dark donkey style jacket and dark trousers. He was carrying a children's small red bicycle.

Police are linking the two incidents and are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist