Quick-thinking actions of Northfield victim’s son help convict con woman

Elderly women targeted in distraction burglaries

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From West Midlands Police :

West Midlands Police and members of the public teamed up to catch a cruel Birmingham con woman who duped her way into the homes of elderly women – and now she’s been jailed for more than three years.

Jennifer Simmons - jailed for three years for distraction burglaries

Sly Jennifer Simmons from Over Pool Road, Ward End, committed a string of distraction burglaries in the Birmingham area in June this year.

Simmons first preyed on a 74-year-old woman with mobility issues, stealing cash and laptops from her Ladywood home.

The 32-year-old returned days later claiming to be the offender’s twin sister – and when her cover was blown she tore out telephone wires preventing the vulnerable victim from calling for help.

On another occasion Simmons pretended to be a carer to gain access to the home of an 82-year-old woman and once inside stole a vintage handbag, cash and a gold watch.

During her villainous visit she took a swig of water from a Toffee Crisp mug which was later recovered by police and sent for forensic analysis.

Tests found the DNA on the cup matched that of Simmons.

Simmons' DNA was found on this mug in the home of one victim

She also struck in Masefield Square, Northfield at the home of a disabled woman but she was rumbled in the act by the victim’s son and ordered to leave.

He reclaimed three phones Simmons swiped from the property and managed to use one to take a snap as she fled – the photo proved crucial in tying the various cases together.

With evidence mounting Simmons was circulated as wanted by West Midlands Police. The media appeal led to people supplying important information, and ultimately led to her arrest.

In custody Simmons denied all knowledge of what happened, but went on to be charged with three burglaries and on Tuesday (6 August) was jailed for three years and four months at Birmingham Crown Court.

Investigating officer Jay Aston said: “She took advantage of people’s vulnerabilities and good nature for her own gain.

“These were nasty, calculated, pre-meditated crimes whereby vulnerable people were deliberately targeted in their own homes, a place where anyone and everyone expects to feel safe.

“We had a fantastic response from our appeal for information and I’d like to thank everyone that took the time to get in touch. We’ve now ensured that Simmons has been taken away from society for several years and no longer poses a danger.”

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