Anger as 92-year-old man's home burgled

A COMMUNITY of elderly people has reacted with horror after thieves threatened a 92-year-old neighbour in his own home and stole hundreds of pounds. The man, a Second World War hero who served with the Royal Engineers in Northern Africa and Italy, lives in sheltered accommodation near Landseer Road, Ipswich.

A COMMUNITY of elderly people has reacted with horror after thieves threatened a 92-year-old neighbour in his own home and stole hundreds of pounds.

The man, a Second World War hero who served with the Royal Engineers in Northern Africa and Italy, lives in sheltered accommodation near Landseer Road, Ipswich.

Yet on Saturday two men walked into his unlocked home, threatened him and demanded he give them money.

A Suffolk police spokesman described it as "a particularly nasty crime".

Jean Patterson, a tenant of the same sheltered accommodation scheme, said the community of elderly people in the area no longer feels safe.

She said: "Everyone is frightened, everyone is nervous and twitchy. We do not feel safe."

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Mrs Patterson, 80, appealed to other pensioners to be on their guard.

She said: "This issue should be brought to light. Elderly people are vulnerable, We have got to keep our doors locked and not trust anyone or let people in."

"If this can happen in sheltered accommodation we are not as safe as we thought."

The victim's son spoke of his fury at what happened.

He said: "I am very angry. My father is very upset and has been shaking and crying. Words cannot describe how angry I feel."

The 63-year-old heating engineer lives close to his father and visits him daily.

He added: "He lives alone and is a widower. He is not very good on his feet. He has meals on wheels but we go in once a day to check he is ok.

"This could affect his confidence in the long term."

Tony Woodward, Suffolk police control room supervisor, said the burglary took place on Saturday afternoon.

He said: "Police received a call at 5.25pm about 15 minutes after it happened. An elderly male had called his son saying he thought he had been burgled and his son called us."

"The front door was unlocked, two young men walked in and verbally abused the gentleman demanding money."

Mr Woodward said the frail 92-year-old man, a former carpenter, was left shocked and shaken by the incident.

He added: "We believe they could have taken as much as £1,000. This is a particularly nasty crime.

"A vulnerable, elderly man was verbally threatened by two people in his own home.

"A gentleman of that age is bound to be shaken up."

Police are investigating the burglary and are appealing for witnesses to come forward. They have issued a description of the men.

Mr Woodward said: "The first is a white male aged 18 to 20 with pale skin.

"He was 6ft plus. He was wearing a dark baseball cap, a dark hooded top, and possibly dark tracksuit bottoms.

"The second man is described as a similar height and age."

A white Ford Sierra with a black spoiler was seen driving away from the scene with four male occupants all wearing baseball caps. The car was later found by police not far from the scene.

Anyone with any information should contact DC Jo Manuel of Ipswich police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

What do you think of this incident? Do you think old attacks on elderly people are on the increase? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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