News article

Bogus caller targets elderly woman, Axminster


Thief posed as phone engineer

Detectives are seeking witnesses after a bogus telephone engineer tricked his way into the Axminster home of an elderly woman and stole her purse.

The man called at the property close to Waggs Plot around 10.30am on Saturday 30 December pretending to be working on the local phone lines.

Once inside the offender stole the woman’s purse containing cash and fled the property when the victim, who is in in her 80s, said someone else was returning home.

Police are investigating and urging anyone who may have seen the suspect in the area at the time to come forward. He is described as a white man, aged 50-55, about 5ft 11ins tall, of thick set build and with brown greying hair.

Police are also appealing for information about a suspicious silver Nissan Micra which was seen around the area at the time of the offence.

Detective Constable Matt Burnell, of Honiton CID, said: “This crime was pretty despicable given the age and the vulnerability of the victim, plus the deception used to get into the home. We would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the area at that time to come forward.”

Please contact the police via or by phone on 101, quoting crime reference CR/113059/17.

Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or

The public is reminded to always use a door chain when answering the door to strangers and to inspect identification cards. Refuse entry if you are not sure about any caller and if in doubt call the police.

For further advice see:




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quoting the crime reference number or pass on information to Crimestoppers anonymously via their Anonymous Online Form or call them on 0800 555 111

To report crime / incidents please use the Crime reporting form


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