Blind pensioner targeted in Lowestoft burglary
POLICE are calling on householders in Lowestoft to help in the fight against burglars in the town after a break-in at the home of a 72-year-old blind man.
Officers were alerted about 12.45pm on Tuesday (January 3), when the pensioner - who has been kept anonymous for fear of reprisal - called in to report he had returned to his home in Westwood Avenue and thought he had been burgled.
He had stepped on glass, discovered there were shards everywhere and then realised something had been thrown through patio doors at the property.
Police attended along with a Scenes Of Crime Officer. Once there they determined that the burglar or burglars had used a side gate to get to the back of the property at sometime between 9am on Friday, December 30 and Tuesday lunchtime. A shed in the garden had been broken into before the offenders smashed their way into the home.
A search was made and items of jewellery, including earrings and two wristwatches, and a collection of medals from the Second World War - including six Royal Navy HMS Europa medals and eight others including an Africa Star and service medals relating to the Eighth Army - were stolen.
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Officers are making enquiries but are asking anyone with information about those responsible or anyone who may have been offered similar items since to come forward.
Det Insp Darrell Skuse of Waveney CID said: 'To return home and find your home has been broken into can be extremely traumatic and cases like this demonstrate how little thought or concern burglars have for their victims.
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'Police in Lowestoft have had considerable success over the past few months in catching and convicting offenders but there remains a core of individuals who commit these crimes. We are continuing to focus on tracing those responsible, and targeting those thought to be involved in committing offences, but we have to gather evidence to be able to prosecute them and need help from residents to both prevent and detect burglaries.
'There will be people out there who know who is responsible for this incident and we'd appeal for them to get in touch with Lowestoft CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously if required, on 0800 555 111.
'We'd also call on residents to remember to take basic security measures – such as locking up your home and leaving a light on or using a timer device when you go out or away - and to call police immediately using 999 if you notice any suspicious behaviour, such as someone climbing over a fence or wall, hanging around a back garden or carrying unboxed electrical items or if you hear the sound of breaking glass.'
Leaving your home in darkness can make it appear as if no one is in, so leaving a light on can make this less obvious. If you're going away for several days consider using a timer to switch lights on at dusk. Several recent burglaries have been at homes where the occupants were away and where it would have been evident the house was in darkness where others around it were lit up. If you're going out for the evening also consider leaving a radio on as this can also make it appear as though someone is home.
Please also call straight away, using 999, if you see anything unusual – in cases where members of the public have called police immediately this has often led to arrests being made.