Lewisham police are appealing for information following a ‘distraction’ burglary in Southend Lane, Sydenham, involving a young boy who was used as a means of entering a property.
The incident occurred just before midnight on June 17 when the victim, an elderly man, aged 91, received a knock on his door from a young boy who said that he needed to write a note for his aunt.
The man allowed the boy to enter the address, closed the door and gave him a pen and paper. He then returned to his front door to put his lock on it as he felt uneasy and noticed the door was slightly open which led him to believe another person had entered the address.
He became suspicious and called the police, subsequently leading him to be assaulted from behind and then forced into the kitchen and held there whilst the suspects made their escape.
The main suspect is described as a white man, 35-40, heavy build with short dark hair, clean shaven. Police believe he could be the same man in an E-fit facial impression issued by Kent Police following a similar offence that occurred on June 7 in Wyvern Close, Dartford. Another similar offence in Greenwich may also be linked.
Around 12,000 distraction incidents, in which criminals gain entry to a property by asking the occupant for help, are reported each year. However, many others go unreported.
Detective Constable Shukeil Mandalia, from the Lewisham Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit, said: “Whilst we are not stating that all these offences are linked at these stage, the offences are very similar and the description of the suspect provided to us by the victim of the offence in Lewisham does bare a striking resemblance to the e-fit that was issued by Kent Police.”
“People should remain vigilant and if they do receive a knock at their door to find these suspects or anyone using a similar ruse in order to gain entry to their home please dial 999 immediately.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Lewisham Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit on 0208 284 8348 or alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.