Appeal as pensioners targeted in burglaries

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A callous thief pulled a gold chain from a vulnerable pensioner’s neck after tricking his way into her home.

Detectives are today appealing for information about the incident – the second distraction burglary in Blackpool in a month.

Officers say the latest “despicable” incident happened at around 4,10pm on Sunday at a home in Chelford Avenue.

The 86-year-old victim was at home and heard a knock on the window.

She answered the door to find a man claiming to be a carer sent from the council who had been asked by a local police inspector to provide crime prevention advice.

He then said he would record the woman’s details but told her his pen had broken. The victim went to get a pen, allowing him to get into her hallway.

It is then police say the thief pulled a gold chain from round the victim’s neck.

And when she bravely tried to fight back, he pushed her to the floor and ran off.

The offender is described as being in his mid-20s, thin build, around 5ft 5ins tall, clean shaven and wearing a white short jacket, dark trousers and a white baseball bat with ‘NY’ written on the front.

He spoke with an Irish accent.

It comes after another theft, which took place at 1am on Wednesday, December 10 at an 84-year-old man’s home address on West Park Drive, Blackpool.

This time, the thief got in through an unlocked door and told the victim that he owed him money for medication.

The man has then taken envelopes containing around £150 cash and left the home, locking the door and posting the key through the letterbox.

The offender in this case also spoke with an Irish accent and walked with a shuffled walk. He is described as around 5ft 2ins and wore an anorak, jeans and a white baseball cap also with ‘NY’ written on the front.

Det Insp Gareth Willis, from Blackpool CID, said “These are despicable offences against two vulnerable people, who despite being unhurt are understandably shaken up.

“We think these incidents may be linked and I am genuinely concerned these offences may continue so I appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

“I am also keen to speak to anyone who may have seen a man matching the description or who thinks they may have been a victim of something similar.

“Lastly, I am urging people, particularly the elderly and those who live alone, to remain vigilant and would say to ensure that your home is secure at all times and don’t allow anyone without valid identification access.

“If you’re unsure, don’t let them in and keep your chain on the door.”

Anyone with information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 .

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.