Police Hunt Man Who Posed As Builder To Steal Pensioner's OBE Medal

7 May 2019, 15:14 | Updated: 7 May 2019, 16:51

Police want to urgently speak to the man.
Police want to urgently speak to the man. Picture: Met Police

Detectives have released an image of a man they wish to speak to after an 89-year-old woman’s OBE medal was stolen during a distraction burglary at her home in Croydon.

Police are appealing for help finding a man after a theft from a flat in Croydon.

The suspect, who posed as a builder, knocked on the door claiming the flat above was flooding and asked to check the vulnerable victim's flat for a leak.

When he was allowed into the property the suspect asked the 89-year-old to clear out a cupboard, and then claimed he needed to leave.

A short while later, the victim realised that her purse, containing £120 was missing.

Also stolen was victim’s OBE medal which she received in 1987 for her services to healthcare, as well as an OBE pin badge and her Evans Medal for Merit in Pharmacy, which were taken from a drawer in her bedside table.

Oddly, five days after the theft occurred her purse - without the money - was posted back through the letterbox.

Police said the suspect is a white man aged in his 50s, approximately 5ft 7ins tall with grey hair and a grey beard. At the time of the offence, he was wearing a light-coloured sports jacket, a red shirt, blue jeans, with light-coloured shoes, a black flat-cap and dark-coloured sunglasses.

CID officer, DC Claire Samy said: "The suspect took advantage of this vulnerable woman in her own home - somewhere that should be a place of safety.

"Not only was cash stolen, but so was the victim's OBE medal which has huge sentimental value. The victim, who is now a retired pharmacist, received the medal over 30 years ago for her service to the NHS, having spent her career working in numerous hospitals in and around the capital.

Police have urged anyone who can assist with the investigation to get in contact as soon as possible.