An elderly couple from Westminster were left shocked after a man pretending to be a council builder dressed in a high-vis jacket stole from them on Christmas Eve.

The couple's granddaughter has warned other residents to look out for their elderly family, neighbours and friends following the theft.

The Metropolitan Police was called to Senior Street at around 4.45pm on Saturday, December 24 after the couple reported the theft.

A man posing as a builder knocked on the victims' door just after 4pm claiming that there was a leak in a property above.

After being let in, he stole a purse containing cash and bank cards, as well as Christmas cards.

The suspect is described as aged in his 40s, white, approximately 5ft 7ins tall, and was wearing a high visibility jacket and a white hard hat.

'Really sad that someone could do that'

Granddaughter of the couple, Leanne Ward, said: “On Christmas Eve my nan and granddad let a man in pretending to be from the council to fix a leak.

“He stole money from my nan's bag, my grandad's bank card and Christmas card.

“When my granddad asked for ID he left to get it and didn't come back.

“Really sad that someone could do that to anyone, let alone a pensioner, on Christmas Eve.

“Please watch out for your elderly family, neighbours and friends.”

Appeal for information

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Westminster on 101.

There have currently been no arrests and enquiries are ongoing.

A Met Police spokesman said: “Police were called at approximately 4.45pm on Saturday December 24 to a residential address in Senior Street W2 after the elderly occupants reported an artifice burglary.

“The suspect who was posing as a builder, knocked on the victims' door at 4.10pm claiming that there was a leak in the property above.

“After being allowed in, he stole a purse containing cash and bank cards.”

Safety advice from the Met

The Met has also issued the following safety advice:

  • Use your door viewer, or look through a window to see who is there and if you are in any doubt, do not answer the door .
  • When anyone claims to be from a service company, always ask for ID and call the customer services department to confirm their identity - genuine.callers will not mind waiting. If they claim to be police officers, you can call 101.
  • Many utility companies operate password schemes, so contact yours to set one up - any representative will know this when they visit your home.
  • Be wary of anyone who claims they are in a hurry and needs to get in your home quickly .
  • Consider scheduling a time for the caller to come back again, when a friend or relative can be with you.

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