AN ELDERLY woman had her handbag stolen by a man who pretend to be delivering her shopping.

The woman from Station Road in Backwell, who is in her 90s, had a knock on her door on Tuesday (February 16) around 2.30pm.

When she opened the door, a man said he was delivering shopping to her, but she said she had not made an order and refused to accept the goods.

He said he would need her to write a note saying so, and as she went into another room to do so, he handbag was taken from the hallway.

The man is described as being in his mid-to-late teens, is approximately 5ft 3-5ins, with short black hair.

He did not have any facial hair.

PC Nikki Adams, from the Operation Remedy team, said: “Distraction burglars often target the most vulnerable or elderly, believing they are likely to be the most trusting.

“Although we believe this is an isolated incident at this time, we’d urge everyone to be aware of the signs of doorstep crime and to raise awareness with family and friends to prevent similar occurrences.

“Anyone who saw what happened, or has experienced a similar call, should contact police on 101 giving reference number 5221034194.”

Avon and Somerset Police are reminding people of security advice, in case this happens to someone else.

How to avoid doorstep crime:

  • If you are not sure who is at your door, do not open it or let anyone into your home. Where possible, have a safety chain, intercom or video doorbell/viewer fitted and always attach the chain/use the intercom before opening the door to strangers.
  • Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they claim to be from. Use the numbers listed in the phone book or website. Do not use any phone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.
  • Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the visitor if unsure.
  • If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a phone call, needs a drink or pen and paper etc, make them wait outside and while you’re away from your door, close and lock it. Remember: it is your doorstep, your decision.