Warning as violent burglars repeatedly target Black Country pensioners
Burglars targeted five elderly people in one day – threatening one 89-year-old man with a brick and leaving another victim suffering a suspected heart attack.
Pensioners in the Black Country are being warned to stay alert after a series of nasty burglaries targeting people in their 80s.
Among several violent break-ins reported in Dudley and Wolverhampton over the last three days were five on Saturday alone, including one raid where a deaf man aged 89 was threatened with a brick.
Each break-in is believed to have involved three men on the hunt for cash and jewellery. They are said to be white and aged in their 30s or 40s.
At least of three of the burglaries have involved victims who are approaching 90 and in one case an elderly woman was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack.
At least five in one day
The deaf man was targeted at his house in Amblecote, Stourbridge, on Saturday. He he was threatened with a brick and pushed over in the hallway before the burglars fled empty handed.
Later the same day crooks broke into an 89-year-old woman's house in Dudley and stole her purse, before at around 8.30pm an 84-year-old man was sprayed in the face with an unknown substance after men kicked open the door to his Bilston home.
He was not seriously hurt.
Two other incidents were reported on Saturday and followed similar crimes in Walsall last week.
In one raid an 89-year-old man with dementia had his house ransacked after trustingly letting the burglars in when they tried forcing his door down.
Then the day after the crooks crowbarred open the conservatory doors of a home in Pelsall and stole cash and jewellery while the occupant was out.
Det Sgt Leighton Shingles, from West Midlands Police, today warned residents not to open the door to unsolicited visitors and appealed for information which could help track the thugs down.
He said: “We’re certainly looking at a series of linked break-ins. In some cases doors have been forced open with metal bars and on other occasions victims have been rushed having answered a knock at the door.
“But what connects all these incidents is that it appears elderly residents are being deliberately targeted. That’s what makes it particularly distasteful.
"One elderly female victim was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack due to the shock of what happened.
“We’re following up various lines of enquiry, including CCTV that’s been seized from offence locations.
“If anyone believes they know who’s involved I’d urge them to contact us.
"We’re looking at three callous crooks who think nothing of intimidating and attacking elderly people, including pensioners who are approaching 90 years old.
“They don’t deserve protection, so if anyone has information then please get in touch so we can get justice for these victims.
“We’d also urge residents not to open the door to people who arrive unannounced on their doorstep and to call the police if they see anything suspicious.”
A similar incident was also reported on Thursday when a 70-year-old woman's home was broken into in Goldthorn Park, Wolverhampton.
On that occasion three men forced their way in during the mid afternoon and made the woman sit on a chair as they searched her home before making off with jewellery and cash.
The victim remained in hospital on Friday.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police via the force website or by calling 101. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.
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