POLICE have issued an urgent warning after elderly victims were targeted by rogue traders FOUR times yesterday.

In the first incident, two men knocked at a man’s door in Valley Road, Billericay, at 2pm and said they were there to repair his fence.

They asked for money to buy materials and the man handed over hundreds of pounds. The men then left in a van but never returned.

Later, at 4pm, a man knocked at an elderly woman’s door in Ozonia Avenue, Wickford, asked to use her toilet.

The man was one of three men doing some gardening work at a neighbour’s house.

She let him use the toilet and later found jewellery had been stolen.

Officers stopped a Ford Transit van on the A1245 in Rawreth last night in connection with the incidents.

The driver, a 17-year-old boy from Pitsea, was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation for the first incident and burglary in relation to the second.

He is still being quizzed by police.

Police are also investigation two other separate reports of similar incidents yesterday.

At about 2pm, a man knocked at the door of an elderly man in Abbey Road, Billericay, and claimed to be there to cut some overhanging trees in his garden.

Two other men joined him and while they were working, one asked to go to the toilet.

The victim later found jewellery worth hundreds of pounds had been stolen.

In another incident, an elderly woman reported two men had knocked at her door in Crays Hill at about 9am and tried to persuade her to pay for gardening work, which she declined.

She said one of the men had previously visited her house at about 2pm on May 14 attempting to do the same.

Essex Police is now appealing for information from anybody who saw three men acting suspiciously in any of these areas yesterday or has any information about these incidents.

Contact Basildon CID on 101.