Sick criminal burgles the dead

Helen Weir  (daughter of Richard Rhimes) and the front door where the thieves forced their way in
Helen Weir (daughter of Richard Rhimes) and the front door where the thieves forced their way in

A HEARTLESS burglar raided the home of a man who had been dead less than 24 hours.

Richard Rhimes family have been left outraged after £20 was taken from his wallet.

Mr Rhimes, 74, died suddenly in Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Sunday morning.

During the next night someone forced an entry into his house on Flakefleet Avenue, Fleetwood.

One of his three daughters Helen Weir said: “It’s appalling someone would do something like this.

“I think they must have known he was dead. Word must have got out.

“When he was taken away there was an ambulance outside. The more people are aware there are such sick people about, the better.”

Mr Rhimes, a man well known locally for his links to the Coastguard and Fleetwood Nautical Campus, never left the house and was looked after by a carer.

Disturbed

Mr Weir said: “They had forced the front door.

“I think they must have been disturbed

“Dad’s TV and mobile were still there and they had not been damaged and nothing else had been moved.

“We left a light on so give the impression there was someone there, but someone has obviously know there was no-one there.”

The forced open front door of the house was discovered by another daughter, Karen Rhimes. She said: “I couldn’t believe it, it was sickening.”

Mr Rhimes’ other daughter, Michelle Smith said: “Someone has watched, taken notice and been aware and taken their opportunity.”

Mr Rhimes spent much of his life as a radio officer in the merchant marine but later worked as a lecturer at Fleetwood Nautical Campus.

He had also been a volunteer for the Coastguard and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

A police spokeswoman said the burglary was being investigated.

She added: “We cannot speculate on whether the offender knew of the death of Mr Rhimes.”