Appeal after burglars pose as NHS workers in West Derby

A man has been charged following a burglary in Manchester

We are appealing for information after a distraction burglary in West Derby.

At about 7.45am on Friday 17 July, a man and woman claiming to be from the NHS knocked on the door of a vulnerable woman in her 50s on Prestbury Road.

After showing what purported to be ID, the pair were allowed in and claimed they were there to spray her bedroom to remove COVID 19. They requested a donation of £10 before asking her to leave the room for at least half an hour.

After 45 minutes the woman checked to find the pair had left without completing any work and had taken cash and a cardboard box containing medication.

The two offenders were described as wearing plastic aprons, masks, cloth type surgery hats, plum-coloured trousers and blue tops.

The woman is described as being more than 5ft tall, with olive/slightly tanned skin and spoke with a London accent. She was also wearing large brown glasses that had a tint on them.

The man is described as being white, and taller than the woman with similar clothing, but did not speak. He was carrying a dark blue bag with a wide strap that appeared heavy.

Detective Inspector Amy Smith said: “It is shocking to think that these offenders have exploited the fears and anxieties around the pandemic we are all facing in order to gain the victim’s confidence and take cash and medication.

“Not only have they violated the space where she should feel most safe, they deprived her of medication which she is clearly reliant upon, posing a serious risk to her health. Fortunately her doctor’s surgery stepped in to ensure the medication was replaced.

“We want to hear from anyone who believes they may have witnessed these offenders at the time, or has been approached in similar circumstances, possibly by the same man and woman.

“I would also ask people to be vigilant – the NHS are not providing this service and if anyone comes to your door claiming they are from an official organisation, always ask to see identification and ensure you are satisfied it is official before allowing anyone you don’t know into your home. If you have any doubts, do not let them in.

“Finally, I would like to remind members of the public that taking medication which is not prescribed for you can be harmful and can even prove fatal. Anyone who comes across the medication is asked to hand it into their nearest pharmacy, or police station.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident, has been offered medication or has any information about who was involved can DM us on Twitter via @MerPolCC or message us on Facebook at ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. Alternatively, call 101 quoting incident reference 20000421531 or call @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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