Elderly targeted by callous crooks in home raids

PUBLISHED: 09:56 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

THIEVES have targeted elderly residents across East Cambridgeshire stealing hundreds of pounds in just two hours. Detectives fear the same gang could be behind the break-ins and a distraction burglary at homes in Ely, Soham and Fordham among others. In on

THIEVES have targeted elderly residents across East Cambridgeshire stealing hundreds of pounds in just two hours.

Detectives fear the same gang could be behind the break-ins and a distraction burglary at homes in Ely, Soham and Fordham among others.

In one burglary in Silver Street, Ely thieves broke in while the 88-year-old victim was on the phone to her son and ransacked her bedroom before escaping with £700 in cash.

The raiders had left muddy footprints across the woman's bed and dressing table and throughout her home in their hurried search for valuables.

But she only discovered the break-in when she found her front door was open.

Her daughter-in-law told the Ely Standard: "She was really upset, but she wouldn't come home with me for a few days because she was worried that she would be too frightened to go back to her house."

The burglars broke in through a window and it was the second time the woman had

been targeted in the last two years. Previously she had lost £500 in cash including her Government fuel allowance.

Thieves also struck at a neighbour's home and at properties in Walpole Court, Ely, Cornmills Road, Soham, Withers Place, Fordham and in Ashley near Newmarket.

In one incident, burglars claimed they had lost their dog in the victim's garden, distracting the homeowner while they ransacked the property.

All the burglaries happened between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday night and police believe the same people were responsible.

The thieves were described as three white men, in their late teens to early 20s, slim, with dark hair and wearing dark clothing. Some were described as wearing hats and none were over five feet 10 inches tall.

Cambridgeshire police detective sergeant Mark Barker, investigating, said: "These are despicable crimes against elderly and vulnerable victims and I would urge anyone with information to come forward.

"We would urge people to be very vigilant. If they see anyone suspicious or vehicles they do not recognise in an area, no matter how insignificant the information may seem, to contact the police immediately."

INFO: Anyone with information should call 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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