BURGLARS have tricked their way into the homes of 109 South Yorkshire old folk in the last 10 months - but Doncaster has fewer victims than the rest of the county.
Figures disclosed to The Star reveal 18 such offences were reported in Doncaster between April last year and the start of this week, with a further 26 in Barnsley, 20 in Rotherham, and 45 in Sheffield.
But the number is down on the 134 offences reported over the same period the year before, and the detection rate has risen by eight per cent to 20 per cent.
South Yorkshire Police said the offences were only a fraction of the total 7,955 homes broken into between January and December last year, but were given top priority by officers.
Det Chf Insp Dave Stopford, responsible for driving down burglaries in South Yorkshire, said: “These offences are very, very rare - they account for only a small percentage of offences reported to us - but it’s because of the vulnerability of the people attacked that we take it so seriously.
“We put more resources into this type of burglary than any other serious acquisitive crime.”
He said criminals often pose as utility company officials to trick their way into pensioners’ homes.
“A lot of victims taken in like this feel foolish and can be reluctant to report it, but these are cunning criminals and very believable because they tend to be well practised,” he said.
“These offences can have a tremendous impact on the lives of victims and we do not underestimate that.”
He said bogus officials often travel all over the country looking for their prey. “They often use the same tactics to get into homes - claiming they are ‘from the water board’ or other utility companies and doing work in the area.”