Woman poses as police officer to steal £1,700 from Burnley woman (86)

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A HEARTLESS woman who posed as a police officer stole £1,700 in cash and jewellery from an 86-year-old woman after distracting her at the front door.

The burglary, which police have described as “an horrendous crime”, happened at a house in Casterton Avenue, Burnley, near to the Tesco Express garage between 5 p.m. and 6-45 p.m. last Saturday.

The pensioner opened the front door to the woman, who claimed she was a police officer and knew the victim had previously had money stolen from her by workmen. She said that she had caught the people responsible before asking the victim for some money so that she could test for fingerprints. While the victim went inside to get some money, the woman sneaked into the house.

When the victim returned and handed over the money in an envelope, she then asked for some jewellery which she could also check for prints and she was given two rings by the victim. The thief said that she would take the items to check them and would return within 15 minutes.

Once the woman had left, the victim checked her purse, which was in her handbag in the lounge, and noticed that around £700 had been taken, while she had been distracted.

The stolen property includes approximately £1,700 in cash, a gold-coloured ring box containing a diamond and emerald gold ring and a fawn-coloured ring box containing another gold ring with diamonds and sapphires.

The woman is white, of slim build, around 5ft. to 5ft. 2in. tall, in her thirties, with dark hair which was possibly tied back. She was wearing blue jeans, a jumper and a grey crochet type shawl. She spoke with a local accent.

PC Melissa Kelly, of Burnley CID, said: “This was an horrendous crime where the offender targeted an 86-year-old woman and portrayed herself as a police officer, which is of great concern to us.

“I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the area and saw anything suspicious to come forward and contact police. The area around Casterton Road was quite busy at the time of the incident as Burnley’s match against Southampton had just finished so I believe that there may be more people who might have some information that could help.

“ I would also ask the public to make sure that they check identification of anyone claiming to be a plain-clothed officer and should call police on 08451 253545 if they want to confirm an officer’s identity.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 425001 or 472993 quoting log number LC-20110924-1512.