Police have issued CCTV images of a man detectives want to speak to about a bogus caller incident in Newton-le-Willows.
At around 4.15pm on Tuesday, September 3 a black vehicle with ladders fixed to the roof pulled up outside a house on Bradlegh Road.
A man knocked on the door of a vulnerable elderly couple and told the man that he had been instructed to carry out work at the house by his wife, and requested payment.
The man was allowed into the house where he demanded a significant quantity of cash for work – work that had not been carried out.
The elderly woman occupant handed over a quantity of cash and the man left in the vehicle with a second man, who had stayed near the vehicle during the incident.
While no violence was used during the incident, the elderly couple were left extremely shaken by the incident.
Detective Inspector Tony O’Brien said: “This was an absolutely despicable incident in which the offenders have taken advantage of a vulnerable elderly couple in a horribly cruel and calculating way.
“Their cowardly actions will shock people living locally, and I want to reassure the community that we will do everything in our power to make sure the offenders are brought to justice.
“If you are the man pictured, or recognise him, we urge you to contact police or Crimestoppers as we believe he could have information that may prove to be key in solving this crime.”
DI O’Brien added: “It is vital people are vigilant when receiving a knock at the door, and do not open the door to anyone they don’t know.
“While most people who call at your home are genuine, some are not and it’s important to check the identity of any stranger who calls. Genuine callers will not mind waiting and should be carrying an official form of identification associated with their employment.
"There are some simple steps people can take to help prevent becoming the victim of such a bogus caller, but I’d also urge residents to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours. If you notice someone suspicious in the area, call the police or contact your community policing team for more advice.”
Anyone with information about the man pictured, or about the incident, is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 19100507595 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.