Harrowing robbery of 83-year-old

A pensioner has spoken of being afraid to return to her home after being subjected to a harrowing robbery by three bogus callers who locked her in. The 83-year-old, who is partially-sighted and lives alone, was threatened and held down by one of the raiders while his accomplices scoured her home for valuables, making off with her handbag and £300.

A pensioner has spoken of being afraid to return to her home after being subjected to a harrowing robbery by three bogus callers who locked her in.

The 83-year-old, who is partially-sighted and lives alone, was threatened and held down by one of the raiders while his accomplices scoured her home in Northwold for valuables, making off with her handbag and £300 cash on Monday lunchtime.

But before they made their escape, the robbers locked the woman in her living room and ripped out her telephone line, forcing the elderly victim to climb out of a ground floor window and alert a neighbour.

Detectives launched an investigation into the “isolated offence”, which occurred at about 12.30pm, when the three men - described as white and aged under 30 years old - entered the property under the pretext of doing some work nearby.

The victim, who does not wish to be named, told the EDP that she still felt “shaky” and “weepy” about the whole incident, which lasted about 30 minutes, and was “worried” that it would happen to other vulnerable elderly residents.

“You hear about things like this happening, but you never think that it is going to happen to you. I hope the police catch them and lock away the key. I hope they rot in hell and that their fingers drop off,” she said.

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The woman escaped the robbery with just a bruise to her hand after one of the offenders called to say that he was working on a broken washing machine down the road and asked her to turn on her taps to lower the water pressure.

“I told him that I had never heard such a ridiculous thing. He said he would call his boss and in walked two blokes and I knew what was on then. They held me in my chair and held my stick and kept telling me not to be trouble and to be quiet, or they would hurt me. They were not as aggressive, but they knew what they were doing,” she said.

One of the three men was described as thin, with short, fair “crinkly” hair, and was wearing a zip-up jacket and fawn-coloured trousers. A second male had darker hair and of the two accomplices, one wore a navy and the other a white t-shirt.

The pensioner, who is currently staying with her daughter in the Downham Market area, added that it was the “most difficult thing of my life” to climb through her window, fall to her lawn and get to her neighbour's house.

The victim's daughter added that she was “very shocked” by the incident, but was “thankful” that her mother was not injured.

The incident prompted Norfolk Police to remind householders to be cautious when answering the door to strangers and urged people to keep an eye on elderly neighbours, friends and family and remind them of the need to keep their homes and property secure.

Det Con Ian Young said: “These men used an unnecessary amount of force to burgle this lady's home. The victim was uninjured but she has, quite understandably, been left extremely shaken.”

“The incident is currently being treated as an isolated offence and while we are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry, we would urge anyone who saw this group coming and going from the village, any suspicious vehicles or who has any further information, to contact police as soon as possible.”

t Call Downham Market CID on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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