Warning after elderly Batley couple targeted in 'despicable' burglary

Neil and Joan Dixon, both 76, were taregted in a distraction burglary.
Neil and Joan Dixon, both 76, were taregted in a distraction burglary.

An elderly couple targeted in a meticulous distraction burglary have warned others to stay on their guard when answering the door to workmen.

Neil Dixon, a 76-year-old pensioner of Wayne Close in Batley, was duped by a man who claimed he had been sent to check some waterworks.

Mr Dixon accompanied the man to his back garden. After a few minutes, the con-man left with another man who had shouted “It’s OK, I’ve sorted it” from the side of the property.

With his wife Joan, also 76, relaxing downstairs, the second man had entered the house and rummaged through the couple’s bedroom draws. They made off with £60 cash and jewellery of huge sentimental value.

“We’re shaken up by it and at first I was very mad,” Mr Dixon said, “it all happened in a flash and it was very clever.

“I’d like to say to other people in our position to be a bit more careful. Make sure you lock the door behind you at all times. They didn’t take much in the end but it could have been so much worse for us. Stay on your guard.

Mr Dixon's daughter Ann-Marie Bedford said that her parents had been shaken up by the incident.

"You could tell they weren't quite themselves at first," she said, "they felt taken advantage of.

"They've only just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, so this has tainted that a bit for them."

Mr Dixon singled out the police for praise, saying that a number of trained officers have supported them.

He said: “I’d like to say that the police have been absolutely brilliant. They were here within ten minutes of everything happening and have been with us every step of the way since.”

A police statement confirmed that one man is described as a white male, 5ft6 tall, slim build in his early 20s. The other man is described as a white male, stocky build in his early 40s. Both men spoke with an Irish accent.

Detective Inspector Mark Atkinson of Kirklees CID said:

“This was a despicable crime carried out against a vulnerable man in his own home.

“We would like to remind people to keep their doors locked at all times to help prevent this type of offence.

“If you are not sure if a cold caller is genuine ask to see some identification of ask their name and a contact number for their company. Genuine callers will not mind waiting while you check out their details.

“If you are still not sure do not open the door and report the matter to police on the 101 non-emergency number.

“Anyone with information about this burglary is asked to call police quoting 13180368955.”