�5k bounty to catch heartless raiders
RAIDERS who preyed on elderly victims in Felixstowe and near Ipswich today had a �5,000 bounty put on their heads.
The despicable pair, who left their vulnerable elderly victims terrified in their homes, today have far less reason to smile as they look at their loot.
For The Evening Star and Ipswich-based internet insurance company tiger.co.uk put up a combined �5,000 reward aimed at taking them off the streets.
The reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the pair who carried out raids on Wednesday.
The sickening raids, who police do not believe are linked, led to immediate action by Suffolk Constabularly, The Evening Star and tiger.co.uk
While Felixstowe-based detectives began their inquiries, The Evening Star and tiger.co.uk joined forces within minutes of hearing of the heartbreak.
A reward of �2,500 will be placed on each of the raiders.
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Managing Director of tiger,co,uk, Graeme Kalbraier, said: “These people make me sick and we should do all we can to get them locked up. They are simply vile, heartless, thugs who cause untold misery to their victims. Together, we as a community, will catch these men.”
Det Sgt Andrew Smethurst, who is leading the inquiry, said: “We are grateful that there is now a significant reward on offer for the information leading to the arrest and conviction of these offenders. I appeal to anyone who saw anything in either Nacton, or Chepstow Road, Felixstowe, to come forward. Someone will know something that could help us catch these men.”
Evening Star Editor Nigel Pickover said: “ We cannot sit idly by while people like these prey on the most vulnerable in our society. These thugs now know we are after them, united in a common aim. In short we’d be thrilled to pay out the reward and for the victims to be able to sleep more soundly in their beds.”
The raider gained entry to the home in Nacton village, between 9.50am and 2pm on Wednesday.
Items of great sentimental value including a gentleman’s gold wedding ring, a ladies gold engagement ring with a solitaire diamond, a ladies wedding ring, and a gentleman’s watch were taken.
The haul also included a silver coin holder with two half sovereign coins, two ladies watches, a Victorian gold fob watch in the shape of a three penny piece and chain and a Victorian gold locket and chain with a coat of arms engraved on the back.
Other items stolen include a pearl necklace, a Victorian gold and ruby ring, a gold diamond and sapphire ring several necklaces and at least 20 pairs of stud earrings.
A purse containing cash and a silver mobile phone were also taken. The silver mobile phone may be a vital clue for police.
Anyone with information about who took the jewellery or where it is now should call Felixstowe CID on 01473 613500.
The victim’s wife now fears they may be targeted again after the bogus caller hoodwinked her husband and stole handfuls of cash.
The elderly resident, who asked not to be identified, said she was unable to sleep after the distraction burglar duped his way into her Chepstow Road home by tricking her husband, who is in his 90s and suffers from dementia.
She had been watching a matinee in Felixstowe and returned home on Wednesday to find saucepans scattered across the kitchen floor.
After hearing her husband’s account of the caller’s visit, she discovered money and bank cards missing from all over the house. The burglar even pocketed the couple’s Co-op dividend reward card.
She said: “I thought he was imagining things but when went into the kitchen I just thought ‘Oh no! That’s the oldest trick in the book.’”
The raider is described as white, around 40 and under 5ft 10in, claimed to be a repairman and may have called at other homes in Chepstow Road before cleaning out the couple at around 3pm.
The victim was made to empty cupboards before the burglar finally left with �30 from a wallet, �15 from the couple’s housekeeping and �20 from another purse. Police also found some Euros and debit cards missing.
The victim’s wife said: “I haven’t slept since it happened. I’m worried he might come back again.
“My husband is vulnerable and I can’t stay at home with him all the time. This is why they pick on people like us.”
Suffolk Police said the impact on their victims can far outweigh any financial loss, with dramatic effects on quality of life and confidence.
And officers are appealing to anyone with information about the burglary to come forward - particularly the owner of a large red van, which arrived in Chepstow Road at around 5.30pm, and the owner of a red VW Golf, or similar model, which was parked in the road for much of the afternoon.
Police would also like to speak to a group of teenage boys who knocked at a nearby door at around 5pm.
If you were in the area between 1.30pm and 6pm and saw or heard anything unusual, call Felixstowe CID on 01473 613500.