Elderly couple burgled twice in 5 months

JUST two weeks after Ipswich pensioners Grace and Harry Talbott turned their house into a fortress, burglars duped their way in and made off with their savings.

By Lisa Baxter

JUST two weeks after Ipswich pensioners Grace and Harry Talbott turned their house into a fortress, burglars duped their way in and made off with their savings.

The Talbotts, who were also burgled last September, had been watching television at around 8.05pm on Tuesday when they were disturbed by repeated ringing on their doorbell in the Bramford Lane area.

Harry, who is 84, told how he switched on the house's CCTV system to see who was there but saw no one.

"The bloke kept ringing. I thought someone outside wanted help," he said, telling how he opened the door to see a man in the neighbour's garden claiming to have heard noises in the couple's garden.

Grace, 82, came to the front room to see what the commotion was, he said. When the couple returned to their back room, they found a second man inside their home and a third coming down the stairs. The burglars then made their way out of the front of the house with cash stolen from around the house.

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"We were in such a state," said Harry, describing how the burglars had been in the bedrooms, stealing their savings and even riffling their pillows for money.

"It happened so quick, you don't know what to do," said Grace. "It was money for bills and money I'd desperately been saving.

"What got me is to think they were mooching about upstairs while we were watching TV."

Police believe two of the burglars entered via an open upstairs window while another distracted the pensioners on their doorstep.

Since burglars struck last year, the Talbotts have stepped up security at their home with warnings to callers that ID will be checked, bolts and chains on the door and a CCTV security system.

Just two weeks ago, the featured in the Evening Star as the 1,000th recipients of help from the Handy Van service, part of the Senior Safety Scheme which installs security equipment free for the elderly to make them feel secure in their homes.

Detective Constable Derek Riley said the burglars had used distraction techniques to confuse their elderly and vulnerable victims. "They know it's all about confusion tactics," he said of the conmen. "These people are so heartless, they're going to try anything to distract someone, confuse them and gain entry to their house."

He urged elderly householders to be aware of the problem and suggested that neighbours keep an eye out for the elderly.

"Suffolk Police have people actively employed at the moment to concentrate on this type of crime," he said, adding that information from the public about a similar incident had led to a recent arrest and charge.

Police believe the burglars may have made their getaway in a vehicle parked in the Bramford Lane area and have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

All three burglars were white men. Two were in their mid-20s, one of medium-build and around 5ft 10ins tall with an untidy appearance and the other, quite well built and wearing dark clothing. The third burglar was in his late teens and of slight build wearing dark clothing.

Any one with information should call Ipswich CID on 01473 383113 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.