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Police are appealing for assistance and issuing a warning to members of the public following a bogus police officer incident and theft in Bathgate.

At around 5.25pm on Monday 11 March four men attended the home of a woman in her sixties in the Falside area.

They approached the rear of the address and told the woman they were police, needing to check the inside of her property. One of the men stayed downstairs talking to the woman, whilst the three other men went upstairs into a bedroom.

All four men then left the property using the back door, with one in possession of a bag which contained two money tins and a handbag. In total, a four-figure sum of cash was stolen.

Inquiries are ongoing to identify those involved and anyone who witnessed what happened is urged to come forward.

Constable Andy Tuplin from the Community Investigation Unit said: “This has been a disgraceful intrusion into this woman’s home who has understandably been left distressed by the incident.

“We believe the men were not dressed in standard police uniform, however claimed to be police officers to the woman at her door. The man who stayed with the woman downstairs was described as having with him a walkie-talkie radio.

“The men left carrying the stolen property in either a white carrier bag or a white pillow case, and we’d urge anyone who saw these men in the area yesterday evening, or can help us identify who is responsible, to contact officers as soon as possible.

“We understand that these sort of criminals can be extremely convincing and we’d urge people to be vigilant to those arriving unexpectedly at your home. Always ask for identification and if someone says they are a police officer and you aren’t sure, please call 101 to check their identity before allowing them inside.”

Those with information should contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 3732 of 11 March, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

www.blackwells.co.uk