Thief steals cash from Rathcoole pensioner

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Detectives investigating a distraction burglary in the Green End area of Rathcoole on Thursday, January 8 have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

At around 3pm, an unknown male entered the home of a woman aged in her 70s, claiming he needed to check the water supply.

After the man left it was discovered that a bedroom in the property had been rummaged through and a sum of money taken.

The man is described as being approximately 5ft 10ins tall and wore a black collared shirt and black trousers. He had a very strong English accent and was of slim build.

Detective Sergeant John McKendry said: “I would appeal to anyone witnessed this incident or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time of the incident to contact CID at Newtownabbey on the 101 non-emergency number.”

He continued: “Police would remind everyone of the need to be vigilant. Please continue to look after elderly neighbours and remind them of the QuickCheck scheme, which is a dedicated number (0800 013 22 90) that anyone can ring to check the identity of callers to your home.”

The advice from the police is:

• Everyone should be cautious of unexpected callers at their home.

• Think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.

• Do not open the door unless you know the individual.

• Ask callers for proof of identity.

• Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card.

• Check this carefully and if you have concerns telephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90.

Local DUP Councillor Paul Hamill condemned the incident as “a despicable crime” and urged anyone with information about the burglary to contact the police.