The tradesmen entrance to the retirement village.
The tradesmen entrance to the retirement village. Northern Rivers

Disguised thieves ripping off the elderly

POSING as a plumber and stealing from the elderly sounds like something you would see in the movies, but it was far from entertaining when it happened to three residents at Maranoa Village in Alstonville.

Two men, posing as tradesmen, visited some Maranoa retirement units on Tuesday afternoon, convincing elderly residents that they were conducting plumbing inspections so the residents would let them into their homes.

Baptist Community Services spokesperson Scott Pilgrim said one of the offenders got the attention of residents, while the second man stole credit cards from the residents' wallets, located in another part of the units.

It is sad to think that people would seek to deceive and steal from older people on an aged-care site, Mr Pilgrim said.

Thankfully, an alert staff member took note of the licence plate of the vehicle being driven by a third male and we have been able to provide these details to the police.

The three residents whose credit cards were taken realised the thefts had occurred the next morning. Police were notified and their cards cancelled.

Luckily, the thieves did not get the chance to withdraw any cash before the cards were cancelled.

Mr Pilgrim said Maranoa staff and residents were helping police with their investigations into the incident.

The centre is also reviewing its security arrangements for external visitors to the site to ensure such an incident cannot be repeated.

Maranoa staff have also provided some timely advice to our village residents about seeking appropriate identification from any unknown visitors," Mr Pilgrim said.


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