Elderly people have been warned to avoid letting strangers into their homes after a man who knocked at a pensioner’s door asking for a glass of water, escaped with €500 of savings.
The incident occurred last Sunday at around 6pm in a quiet part of Longford town in what is likely to raise further question marks over the rising prevalence of crimes against the elderly.
Gardai confirmed to the Leader on Monday an investigation had been launched before advising older people and those living on their own to be aware of potential bogus callers.
“All this man seemed to ask for was a glass of water,” said a Garda spokesperson. The vicitim of the crime is believed to be a woman in her 80’s.
Following a spate of burglaries targeting elderly people particularly in Donegal, there has been much debate about the issue in recent days.
Gardai are hoping that this coverage will increase awareness of potential dangers among elderly people in the community.
Crime figures released last week have also shown an increase in burglaries and related incidents. Official figures uncovered a 31 per cent increase in break-ins between January and September last year across the Longford/Roscommon division.
A total of 388 burglaries were reported to gardai during the period, almost a third more than the 296 recorded 12 months earlier.
In Cavan, crime rates dropped 28 per cent with Westmeath and Sligo/Leitrim policing divisions returning more modest drops of seven and four per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, gardai have launched an appeal for witnesses following a reported break-in at Longford town store Farrell and Coy over the weekend.
A small quantity of money was stolen during the raid, which gardai believe took place shortly before midnight last Saturday.
In seperate episodes, investigations are also continuing into a number of suspected cases of criminal damage, principally against unoccupied cars.
Last Saturday saw the back window and wing mirror of a Toyota Avensis damaged, stemming from an incident in the Chapel Lane area of town between 11pm and 1am.
Barely 24 hours later in nearby Annally Park another car was reported damaged, this time with its rear lights and windows being targeted. Gardai believe an iron bar or hatchet may have been used in the attack at around 12:40am on Monday morning. Separately, as many as 30 empty kegs were stolen from the back of a pub in Longford town last week. Anyone with information in relation to any of these incidents is asked to contact Longford Garda Station at (043) 3346741.