West Midlands Police have arrested a man and a woman in Weoley Castle in relation to a series of distraction burglaries across South West Birmingham.
Police have also released a new image in an attempt to trace a third suspect.
A man aged 46 and a 29-year-old woman were picked up yesterday from a flat in Weoley Castle and are now being questioned over up to 10 offences where thieves have tricked their way into pensioners’ homes.
One such offence on 25 September saw a man and woman team up to distract a 101-year-old woman on the doorstep of her home in Chatham Road, Northfield, before sneaking inside to swipe her purse.
They will also be questioned in connection with a theft in Winney Road, Selly Oak, on 6 September where several thousand pounds in cash was stolen from an 81-year-old man as he returned to his car from a bank trip.
And the man will also be questioned over a sneak-in burglary in Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield, on 21 September when two men – who claimed to be plain clothes police officers – pocketed valuables before being disturbed.
Detectives have released an image of another man they would like to speak to over the burglaries, plus a series of ‘purse dipping’ offences on elderly women.
Francis Maughan, aged 31, is suspected of involvement in the Frankley Beeches Road break-in and other distraction burglaries in Rubery, Northfield and Frankley.
And it’s believed during one cruel con in Loynells Road, Rubery, on 20 September Maughan carried a toddler in his arms to help convince a 90-year-old woman he was a friendly house visitor.
Investigating officer, DC Dave Cockbil, said: “We have seen a spate of truly despicable offences where elderly people have been deliberately targeted.
“Offenders have preyed on the victims’ vulnerabilities – some are dementia sufferers, partially blind or simply very old – and tricked them with an array of ruses to get inside their homes and steal from them.
“We strongly believe Francis Maughan is connected to these offences. If anyone knows where he is or believes they have seen him, I would urge them to contact me on the 101 number or call Crimestoppers anonymously.
“I would ask anyone with information to ask themselves how they would feel if someone had stolen from an elderly loved one of theirs. They would want them caught and brought to justice. So if anyone has information please get in touch so we can help protect our elderly residents.”
The independent charity Crimestoppers can be called on 0800 555111, or to speak to DC Dave Cockbill call West Midlands Police on 101.