Callous sneak thief targeted elderly in Walsall distraction burglaries

A Walsall mother who deliberately targeted elderly people during a string of distraction burglaries has been jailed. Zintra Harrison even examined the bed-ridden wife of an 83-year-old man after telling him she was a care worker.

Harrison admitted three burglaries in which elderly people had possessions stolen. She was described by a judge as a “callous criminal”. Wolverhampton Crown Court was told there was evidence that the mother-of-one had specifically targeted areas were elderly people lived.

Prosecutor Mr William Rickarby told yesterday’s hearing that on October 16 last year, the defendant walked into the Bloxwich home of an 75-year-old woman while she was putting her bins out. A handbag containing £49, debit cards and store cards was stolen.

Six weeks later, she visited a bungalow of a couple in Beechdale, Walsall, and claimed she was “from the social”, said Mr Rickarby.

Harrison, 38, went to the bedroom and examined the stomach of a bed-ridden woman, the prosecutor said.

Harrison left with a coat containing a wallet with £14 cash, along with credit and Post Office cards.

The same day, Harrison targeted another house in Bloxwich where an 87-year-old woman was looking after the property.

Mr Rickarby said Harrison asked to use the toilet. After she had left, the victim noticed her handbag containing £60, a set of keys and credit cards was missing.

Harrison, of Corporation Street, Caldmore, admitted three counts of burglary.

The court was told she had six previous convictions for targeting elderly people in robberies and burglaries.

She had previously pushed an 84-year-old woman to the floor and stolen her purse, while she had also stole from the home of a 91-year-old woman.

Mr Anthony Potter, for Harrison, said his client had asked him to apologise on her behalf to the victims.

Jailing Harrison for six and a half years, Judge Nicholas Webb told her: “The courts will protect elderly people from callous criminals such as yourself by imposing prison sentences.”