Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Fake NI Water man robbed pensioner

A bogus caller who burgled a Belfast pensioner’s home has been branded a “ loathsome low-life,” by an east Belfast MLA.

On Friday night at 9pm, a 79-year-old man in the Craignish Crescent area of Dundonald received a call at his door from a man claiming to represent Northern Ireland Water.

The caller said he needed to check the plumbing, as a neighbour of the man had a leak.

He was then brought to the kitchen where he distracted the victim by asking him to dry up water from a leak the thief had created under the sink, during which time he disappeared into the living room of the property.

After he had gone the elderly man noticed a sum of money had been taken from the living room.

The bogus caller is described as around 35 years old, 5ft 9in, of stocky build, with pale skin and black hair. He was wearing black trousers and a black jacket.

DUP MLA Robin Newton said vulnerable senior citizens need the help of their community in defeating this type of crime.

He added: “The loathsome|low-life that conned his way into a pensioner’s home in Dun-|donald and stole money is as |contemptible a character as one could find.

“These conman types of robberies are all too common. They leave the victim feeling distressed and anxious.”

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle also condemned the attack and is urging anyone with information to contact the police.

“This was an absolutely appaling incident,” he said.

“This man was put through a terribly traumatic ordeal and my thoughts are with him as he recovers from it.

“The fact that some thug was cynically trying to use this water crisis to their own sickening ends is despicable.

“To exploit people's fears and concerns on this issue is disgraceful. For someone to pose as a bogus caller to rob a pensioner is horrific.”

A spokesman for NI Water said: “All NI Water ID cards should have a photo of the person carrying it, their name, a unique serial number and our logo.

“If you have a door chain, put it on before you open the door, or ask the caller to put the ID card through your letterbox or up against a window.

“If in doubt, call our customer helpline on 08457 440 088, where staff will be able to confirm whether the person is genuine.”

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