Essex police urge vigilance following lost ball in garden’ thefts

PUBLISHED: 13:20 05 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:23 30 May 2010

POLICE have issued a warning over criminals who are tricking their way into homes by claiming they have lost a ball in the garden.

So far the thieves have struck at Silver End on Saturday afternoon and may also have attempted to enter a home at Witham on

POLICE have issued a warning over criminals who are tricking their way into homes by claiming they have lost a ball in the garden.

So far the thieves have struck at Silver End on Saturday afternoon and may also have attempted to enter a home at Witham on Sunday morning (October 4).

Three cameras and a quantity of cash were taken from the home of an elderly woman at Valentine Way, Silver End. She received a knock at the door from a man who claimed he had lost a ball in her back garden. When she went to look, the intruder sneaked in and ransacked a bedroom.

At shortly after 8am on Sunday, police were called to Gershwin Boulevard, Witham after a resident disturbed two men in his back garden. They said they had been searching for a lost ball. They jumped back over the fence and left in what is thought to be a mid-sized silver Toyota people carrier.

Ds Steve Jennings of Colchester CID is leading the hunt for the pair. He said: "These are despicable crimes that have caused a great deal of distress to the victims and we hope members of the public will call us immediately with any information about these thieves.

"I would urge everyone to be vigilant and be on guard against anyone claiming to have lost anything in the garden. Phone us immediately on 999 if these people call at your home or if you see anything suspicious."

One of the men involved was aged about 30, about 5ft 6ins tall, olive-skinned and had short dark hair. He spoke with a foreign accent and was wearing dark clothing.

The second man was aged between 18-20, about 5ft 9ins tall of slim build and with a drawn gaunt face. He had a prominent bridge to his nose. He was wearing a black woollen beanie-style hat, a dark coloured long-sleeve top, blue jeans and oldish white trainers. He may have mumbled or stuttered his words.


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