Shameless thug targets elderly in house raids

Police have released an Evofit image of a man they believe is responsible for two burglaries in Blackpool.
Police have released an Evofit image of a man they believe is responsible for two burglaries in Blackpool.
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Police were today hunting 
for this cold-hearted robber after he left two pensioners traumatised when he targeted their Blackpool homes.

Detectives say the shameless thug may have preyed on other residents in the town and are urging anyone who recognises him to come forward.

The raider, who spoke with an Irish accent, told one victim –an 86-year-old woman – he had been sent by the police before grabbing a gold necklace, pushing her to the ground.

He snatched the jewellery from round the woman’s neck after tricking her into letting him into her Chelford Avenue home, in Layton, on December 21.

He told her he was a council worker sent by the police to offer crime prevention advice but asked for a pen to take down her details as his was not working.

When the woman turned her back he snatched the jewellery and fled.

Police say they believe the same man is responsible for a separate offence on West Park Drive on December 10.

On that occasion, the offender entered an 84-year-old man’s home through an insecure door and demanded money.

He said the victim owed him money for medication and then took envelopes containing around £150 in cash.

As he left, he locked the man in his home before posting the keys back through the letterbox.

Both victims gave similar descriptions of the offender.

The female victim described her attacker as in his mid-20s, thin build and around 5ft 5in tall.

He was clean shaven and wore a white short jacket, dark trousers and a white baseball cap with ‘NY’ written on the front.

The male victim said the raider had a ‘shuffled walk’ and was around 5ft 2in tall.

On that occasion he wore an anorak, jeans and a white baseball cap, also with ‘NY’ on the front.

Det Insp Gareth Willis, of Blackpool CID, said: “We are linking these two incidents and we are looking into the possibility there are other offences. I suspect there may be other victims who haven’t come forward.

“People are embarrassed they have been tricked and sometimes don’t come forward.

“But these people are good at what they do and people shouldn’t be embarrassed – if you think you have been targeted in this way, please tell us.

“I would urge the public to take a good look at the image and contact us if they recognise the man pictured or have any information about who he might be.”

Det Insp Willis also urged residents to remain vigilant, keeping doors locked and insisting on valid identification before allowing visitors into their homes.

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101.