Woman (88) robbed at knifepoint by fake Irish Water workers
An 88-year-old woman suffered a terrifying ordeal when she was threatened with a knife by an intruder who posed as an Irish Water employee.
The shocking incident unfolded at her home in Terenure, south Dublin, at around 2pm on Thursday when two criminals called to the lady's property and claimed they were there to check her water supply.
Once they gained entry to the house, one of the men went upstairs while the other remained downstairs with the elderly lady.
The thug threatened the woman with a bread knife and forced her to hand over her purse which contained about €90.
The two men then escaped from the house on foot.
Gardaí do not have a description of the culprits, but confirmed that the duo were not wearing fake Irish Water jackets.
The OAP was not assaulted in the course of the incident and is understood to be "recovering very well" from her frightening ordeal, according to sources.
Gardaí from Terenure station are investigating the crime, but no arrests have yet been made in the case.
"This was a particularly mean-spirited crime. Thankfully the victim was not injured and is doing well," a source told the Irish Independent last night.
The Terenure area is one of many in the capital which were affected by water restrictions this week and it is believed the criminals were taking advantage of this in an attempt to fool the woman to gain entry to her home.
The water restrictions were put in place in the aftermath of Storm Emma as the extreme cold led to restricted water supplies and caused damage to pipes.
Officers are advising the elderly to be vigilant when it comes to house callers after this incident in south Dublin and a spate of distraction thefts across the country.
Earlier this month, an elderly man in Ballyneety, Co Limerick, was distracted by a man who called to the front door wearing a high-vis jacket and claiming to be with the ESB.
While this happened another man entered the house and stole a sum of cash.
Gardaí have constantly advised that if elderly people need to engage with a stranger at their home, they should not open the door of their house but instead ask the caller to leave a card so that they can be called at another time.
In a completely separate case in September 2016, a career criminal admitted posing as an employee of Irish Water so he could burgle Dublin businesses.
The then 66-year-old stole from a restaurant, shops and a health clinic when given free rein to check plumbing, which he falsely claimed he was doing on behalf of the water company.