A partially sighted 90 year old woman was left distraught yesterday (Tuesday 20th September) after being the victim of a distraction burglary in her Rednal home. 

Two men called at her door in Loynells Road at around 8pm with a small child. Due to her poor eyesight, the woman believed them to be family members but began to scream when she realised they were rummaging through her living room.

The two made off with the woman’s purse, which contained just £5.

A neighbour, who had witnessed the men enter the woman’s home, told us that she quickly tended to her and called the police. The victim was unhurt but obviously very distressed.

Investigating officer, Sergeant Dave Bebb, said: “It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could stoop so low as to target a defenceless old woman – and also while carrying a small child who we suspect was being used as a potential distraction technique. It’s truly despicable.

“People will know who is responsible for this awful burglary…they do not deserve protecting. We need to catch these men quickly before any other elderly resident suffers at their hands.”

The two men, who had Irish accents, are both said to be around 40 years of age, about 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build. It was said that they were very similar in appearance and could have been brothers or otherwise related. One of the men was carrying a child, believed to be a girl and around 18 months old, wearing a purple print puffa jacket.

There have been five further incidents recorded in Rubery and Northfield over the last few weeks. See below for full details

Anyone with any information is asked to call West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously, or visit their website

Advice

  • img_0077Don’t answer the door to people you don’t know if you don’t feel safe – use a spy hole if you have one, or check through a front window. Never feel embarrassed to refuse to answer the door or let strangers in.
  • Use a door chain if you do open the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed to call the police to report any concerns or suspicious behaviour.
  • If you don’t know the caller, ask to see their identity card. Check it carefully, and keep the chain on while you do this. Genuine callers won’t mind if you close the door while you check. If in doubt, telephone the organisation to verify they are genuine by using a number from the telephone directory and not a number given to you by the caller.
  • If you’re still unsure of a caller, ask them to come back at a pre-arranged time, then have someone with you. If they’re genuine, they won’t mind.
  • Beware of being distracted by one person while another steals your property – make sure other doors into your home (side, back) are locked while you are at the front door.
  • If in doubt, keep them out. Phone the police on 101 if you are worried and in an emergency dial 999.
  • Please share this advice with elderly or vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives and check on them regularly.

Other recent incidents

  • Tuesday 23 August
    Time: 6-6.30pm
    Where: New Inns Lane, Rubery.
    Victim: Female, 80s
    Offender/s: White male, around 5’7″, slim, short dark hair, dark clothing, nervous
    Means of entry: Asked for piece of paper to leave message for family member
    Stole:Purse with cards and money
    Force: West Mercia Police
  • Sunday 28 August
    Time: 6-7.30pm
    Where: Rednal Hill Lane, Rubery.
    Victim: Female, 80s
    Offender/s: Man and woman. Woman: white, 40s, fair-coloured wavy hair, round face. Man: approximately 5’8″, 40s, short hair, ‘damaged skin’ on his right arm.
    Means of entry: Asked for help to leave note for a neighbour who was out. Entered the home while the householder wrote a note. The man then went upstairs and came back down. When the victim threatened to call the police the woman cried and begged him not to. The pair then left.
    Stole: Not known
    Force: West Mercia Police and begged the victim not to.
  • Wednesday 31st August
    Time: 6-6.10pm
    Where: Callowbrook Lane, Rubery.
    Victim: Female, 80s
    Offender/s: Man: white, 23 – 24 years old, 5’8″, average build, brown curly hair, stubble, dark trousers, dark jacket with writing on the back. Woman: white, early 20s, dark shoulder-length hair, dark trousers, dark short-sleeved top.Child: white, 2 or 3 years old, light or pink top.
    Means of entry: The man went to the door with the young child. Asked for piece of paper to leave message for next door neighbour. He wrote note outside and then asked for a drink of water for the child. While the victim fetched the drink, the man entered the property with the child without permission and took a purse. The victim told him to leave and he did so and headed towards Deelands Road with the child and a woman with a pram who was waiting in the street.
    Stole: Black leather purse
    Force: West Mercia Police
  • Monday 5 September
    Where: Bristol Road South, Northfield
    Victim: Female
    Offender/s: Two
    Means of entry: Said ball had gone in garden. One engaged victim in conversation. Other entered living room
    Stole: Bank cards and £10
    Force: West Midlands Police
  • Tuesday 6 September
    Where: Woodland Road, Northfield
    Victim: Female
    Offender/s: Man and woman with toddler
    Means of entry: Victim agreed to have repointing of roof tiles. The man took her into the garden to discuss. The woman and child remained inside.
    Stole: Later, the victim discovered3£40 had gone from her purse
    Force: West Midlands Police

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