Tracey Parker-Smith jailed for a string of distraction burglaries on elderly
PUBLISHED: 17:03 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:25 01 November 2017
A con woman who tricked her way into a string of elderly people’s homes in Norfolk and Suffolk to steal valuables and items of sentimental value sobbed as she was jailed for six years.
Tracey Parker-Smith, 33, of London Road, Downham Market, was described by a judge as a “thoroughly dishonest individual” who deliberately targeted elderly vulnerable people to steal whatever she could from their homes in a 14-day “frenzy” of distraction burglaries.
Recorder Frank Burton said elderly needed protection from people like her and said: “Targeting the elderly is a particularly despicable form of criminal conduct.”
He said she had violated the sanctity of her victim’s homes taking items of sentimental value, such as rings given by deceased partners.
Norwich Crown Court heard that one 90 year-old victim, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Lakenheath, who had a diamond ring and cash stolen, said in a statement she would like to tell Parker-Smith: “You’ll be old one day. How would you feel if someone did this to you.”
Tracey Parker-Smith, 33, of London Road, Downham Market admitted eight counts of burglary between August 31 and September 13 this year and asked for 11 similar offences to be taken into consideration and appeared via video link from Peterborough prison.
Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said Parker-Smith, who used a number of aliases, tricked her way into homes by offering cleaning work.
He said she pretended she was working for a company offering an hour’s free cleaning to anyone over 70 but once inside the property stole valuables such as jewellery and cash.
Her first victim was a 95 yea-old woman, from Outwell, and after Parker-Smith left her property she found a watch and jewellery had been stolen including a set of pearls and her diamond eternity ring.The victim said she now feels anxious in her own home .
Parker-Smith on September 8 stole a watch and gold solitaire ring from a home in Downham Market.
Mr Oliver said that another victim, from West Dereham, who did not let Parker-Smith into her property later discovered 16 rings stolen including a gold ring belonging to her late husband.
Mr Oliver said that all the victims described how upset they felt about the thefts.
Stephen Spence, for Parker-Smith, said she deserved credit for her guilty pleas as she had spared anyone having to come to court.
He said although she had previous convictions for dishonesty she had never committed anything as serious as this before.