The son of a Blackpool man whose home was ransacked by burglars just hours after his death has blasted the thieves who carried out the heartless raid.
Raiders smashed their way into the home of 78-year-old Glen Yates within hours of ambulance crews and undertakers departing, snatching war medals and his wedding ring as well as hundreds of pounds in cash.
His son, also named Glen Yates, has been left heartbroken by the burglary at the house, in Hudson Road, South Shore, which has left him sifting through his late father’s possessions to work out what else might have been taken.
The only consolation for retired Glen, 57, is that he was able to take his father’s watch before it could be swiped in the raid.
He said: “Why would anyone do this?
“It’s the fact they’ve been through the house, rummaging through everything, going through all the drawers in the bedroom
It is really upsetting for all of us and I don’t know if those who have done this will know or care about the impact
“I can see them doing it, they’ve left the house a mess.
“When you are already mourning a loss it’s another thing you don’t need.
“We’ve now got to go through everything ourselves, too see what else might be missing.
“We think it’s someone who has seen the ambulances and the police at the house.
“They’ve waited for it all to die down and then broken into the house.”
Among the items taken were two service medals, awarded to Mr Yates for his military service in Malaysia.
The pensioner, who was in Singapore during the 1960s conflict, was given the medals by the Malaysian government and received them at Fulwood Barracks just a few years ago, after a wait of five decades.
Along with his wedding ring they are among the sentimental items his son might have been able to remember him by.
Mr Yates said: “They’re family heirlooms, especially the jewellery.
“His wedding ring is gone.
“I’m just glad I was able to take his watch and put it on when I left that morning.
“Otherwise that would have been gone too.
“The medals were important to him and they are important to us.
“I’d just beg whoever has done this to get them back to us.”
While Mr Yates hopes police will be able to track down those responsible for the break-in, his focus is on getting his dad’s treasured possessions back.
He said: “I’m not a vengeful person but if somebody has these things I just want them to return them.
“It is really upsetting for all of us and I don’t know if those who have done this will know or care about the impact.
“I have a sister in Leicester and she is here to help us sort all this out.
“But we shouldn’t have this to deal with at this time.”
Police were called to Mr Yates’ house on Tuesday morning following concerns over his safety. He was found dead inside.
Officers were then called back on Wednesday morning to reports of a burglary – and found the home ransacked.
PC Daniel Swarbrick, of Blackpool Police, said: “Mr Yates’ family are obviously grieving the loss of a beloved father and grandfather, but they have been dealt a double blow knowing his house has since been targeted by thieves.
“Several items of great sentimental value to the family have gone missing and they are desperate to get them back.
“We believe the people who carried out this burglary may have suspected the property was empty after seeing emergency services at the scene following Mr Yates’ death.
“We would now urge anybody with information about it to contact us as soon as possible.
“Maybe you were in the area and saw something suspicious, perhaps you’ve heard somebody talking about it since, or maybe you’ve been offered some of the stolen items for sale.
“Whatever you know, we would like to hear from you.”
Anybody with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 383 of January 25.
Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.