Mystery knocker targeting Richmond residents in series of extraordinary burglaries


A young woman has been tricking her way through residents’ front doors


By Naomi Firsht, Rachel Jenkins, Jack Miller and Bethany Whymark

Richmond’s most vulnerable residents are being duped into inviting a burglar into their own homes, the borough’s MP warned yesterday.

A young woman has been making off with people’s money and possessions after tricking her way through the front door.

Three burglaries occurred last weekend, with another being reported two weeks ago.

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, cautioned residents to be vigilant after the spate of extraordinary thefts.

“There are fewer crimes in Richmond than almost anywhere else,” he said.

“But this recent spate, where elderly and vulnerable people have been targeted, is deeply worrying.”

Police are searching for an 18-30 year old female suspect who has been targeting elderly residents, knocking on victim’s doors in a distressed state.

She has then asked to use the phone, or claimed to be a neighbour’s daughter needing to borrow money.

Descriptions of the suspect’s height vary, but on more than one occasion she was described as wearing horse-riding breeches and a green tweed jacket.

Mr Goldsmith shared a message from Richmond Neighbourhood Policing Team on his website last night.

In the statement, Inspector Hannah Wheeler of Richmond NPT described the crimes as deeply worrying and unpleasant.

“We are all very trusting by nature and this crime is an invasion of that trust and is often over so quickly the victim may not even notice anything has been taken,” she said.

Mr Goldsmith added: “Clearly the problem goes far beyond this area, and is a reflection of a particular problem we have in this country of elderly people living isolated lives.”

Incidents like these are known as burglary artifice crimes. The suspect passes themselves off to their victims as a professional or person in need, in order to talk their way into their homes.

Contact police on 101 with information.

Photo courtesy of Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, with thanks.

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