Pensioner warns of bogus traders after fake water officials steal jewellery and cash from bedroom

Dorothy Spokes was targeted by conmen who falsely claimed to be from Portsmouth Water 

and who stole jewellery from her home
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Dorothy Spokes was targeted by conmen who falsely claimed to be from Portsmouth Water and who stole jewellery from her home Picture: Habibur Rahman
The girl was approached on Dudley Road

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A PENSIONER is warning people to be wary of bogus callers after two men posing as water engineers stole thousands of pounds of jewellery and cash from her home.

Dorothy Spokes, 80, answered her door to the pair who told her they were from Portsmouth Water and had come to change her piping.

They had probably been watching the house as well so they would have known when I’d be at home.

Dorothy Spokes

But while one of them pretended to check the plumbing in the kitchen, the other sneaked upstairs to Dorothy’s bedroom and grabbed several pieces of jewellery as well as cash.

Mrs Spokes, who has to use a wheelchair outside the house since she broke her neck and arm last year in a fall, said many of the pieces stolen had high sentimental value and included a gold watch belonging to her late husband Maurice.

The West Leigh resident said: ‘I had just come back from a dialysis appointment and had left the porch door open while I went upstairs.

‘When I came down the two men were standing there and said they were changing all the piping in the area.

‘One of them came into the kitchen and said he was going to check the water pressure.

‘The other said he was going to my neighbours to check theirs, but when they left I realised he had gone upstairs to steal my jewellery.’

After she made the discovery Mrs Stokes called the police and said she wished she had asked to see the men’s IDs before letting them into the house.

She added: ‘I did have an inkling something was wrong, because I had left my handbag in the porch and thought they may have been trying to take money from the purse.

‘I was very tired when I got home, and all I had really wanted was a cup of tea and to put my head down. They had probably been watching the house as well so they would have known when I’d be at home.’

Hampshire police confirmed the incident happened between 12.45pm and 1.15pm on Thursday.

Portsmouth Water has asked customers to be extra cautious if someone is at their doorstep claiming to be from the company. All representatives should have a photographic ID card and a uniform and vehicle both displaying the PW Kingfisher logo.