Callous thieves target widow

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

A 93-YEAR-OLD woman has hit out today at the mindless thugs who burgled her home while she was there taking all the money she had saved to buy Christmas presents for her family.

A 93-YEAR-OLD woman has hit out today at the mindless thugs who burgled her home while she was there taking all the money she had saved to buy Christmas presents for her family.

Gwen Povey, who lives near the town centre, said she has been left "frightened and upset" after the thieves struck at around 3pm on Thursday.

"I looked outside and saw what a beautiful day it was so I decided to go out and look round my garden. I was no longer than 20 minutes and I left my back door open.

"When I came back I realised my purse was missing, at first I thought I was just getting a little confused.

"Then I went upstairs and realised they had not only taken my purse but they had been up stairs and taken all the money I had saved for Christmas. I had all the money for my grandchildren, including dollars for the three that live in America."

It is thought the thieves came round the back of the house and got in the open door while Gwen's back was turned. It is also believed two people were involved with one taking the purse while the other went up stairs.

Gwen, who is mainly housebound only goes out when accompanied by a member of her family said she has not been able to sleep since Thursday and even the slightest noise leaves her shaken.

"I couldn't go to bed that night and I stayed awake on the chair down stairs. I feel so helpless, what can I do, I can't stop them.

"I am shaky and feel awful, I have had lots of illnesses including strokes and this has just made me feel terrible. What is worse is that they also took letters I had written to my family for when I die. They were upstairs and they must have thought there was money in them.

Gwen's great-grandson, Paul Farnell, 25, was the first person to see his grandmother after it happened.

"She is obviously very shaken but we are just all glad she is not hurt. If this story helps even one person become more vigilant then it will be worth it."

Gwen is now taking no risks and all her doors are firmly locked during the day and at night.

"Everything is locked now although this is really sad for me, ever since I was a little girl I have hated locked doors but now I have to keep myself locked in."

A police spokesman said: "We would urge people to be especially vigilant as this kind of crime is on the increase. Anyone with any information should contact Ipswich Police on 613500.

*Teenaged burglars posed as council workers to con their way into sheltered accommodation and steal cash from a pensioner.

The boys, aged around 13 and 16, targeted their 88-year-old victim between 3.15pm and 4pm, yesterday.

Claiming to be from the council, they bluffed their way into the property in Richer Close, Badwell Ash, and stole the pensioner's money.

One of the burglars was around 5ft 6ins and the other was slightly shorter. One had dark hair and his accomplice was fair-haired. Both were wearing dark jackets and trousers.

Bogus callers also called at a property in Regent Street, Stowmarket, posing as electricity workers at around 3.15pm, yesterday. Details of what was stolen were not available from police.

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