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Police are appealing for witnesses following a bogus workmen incident in the Russell Place area.

At around 10.00am on Tuesday, 15 October, an 80-year-old man was visited by a man who offered to carry out some garden work. A fee was agreed and paid in cash, even though it appeared that no work had been carried out.

On Thursday, 17 October, the male suspect returned and demanded he was owed a further amount of cash by the male victim for the completed work. The suspect called a friend who arrived in a white transit van and drove the victim to a cash machine on West Granton Road around 4.00pm. The victim took out a further amount of money and handed it over.

The suspect slyly hid some of the cash before claiming he wasn’t given the full amount. The victim became suspicious of the behaviour and spoke to staff members at a nearby takeaway. At this moment, the two men drove off in the white transit van.

Officers are now urging anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.

The suspects are white men aged 30-40 who speak with a Scottish accent.

The first man is described as being of medium build, between 5ft 9ins and 6ft. He is clean shaven with short, light brown hair. He was well dressed, wearing a dark coloured jacket, a gilet underneath, blue jeans and brown brogues.

The second man is described as being of heavy build, 5ft 5ins with short brown hair.

Sergeant Alistair Urquhart, leading the investigation, said: “The first suspect did not carry out any work at the home but was able to get the elderly victim to pay. To add further insult, he then managed to get a further amount of cash two days later.

“I am appealing for anyone who can help us identify these individuals, or who has any information relevant to this investigation, to contact police immediately.

“I would once again urge the public not to allow unsolicited callers to carry out any work or repairs on their properties. Only use trusted tradespeople, who you have contacted in advance.

“In addition, I would ask that our communities be wary of any suspicious activity around the homes of elderly or vulnerable friends, family and neighbours and report any concerns you may have to us.

“We have a range of useful crime prevention advice available on our website at www.scotland.police.uk.”

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 3578 of 17 October or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.