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Plucky pensioner foils robbery plot

PUBLISHED: 18:05 07 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 March 2010

DEFIANT pensioner Ken Thorpe has told how he bravely faced up to an armed raider who tried to rob him in his home.

The 69-year-old was so outraged when the masked robber tried to get into his semi-detached home in the middle of the night that he decided to challenge him.

DEFIANT pensioner Ken Thorpe has told how he bravely faced up to an armed raider who tried to rob him in his home.

The 69-year-old was so outraged when the masked robber tried to get into his semi-detached home in the middle of the night that he decided to challenge him.

The robber was sent away empty-handed and detectives appealed last night to householders in Woodbridge for help in tracing the raider.

Officers also stepped up patrols in the town to reassure residents and urged them not to open the door if they had any doubts about the caller.

Mr Thorpe, a retired carpenter, was back at his part-time job yesterday as a porter a few hours after the incident and helped with the Neal Sons and Fletcher antiques sale in the town.

The attempted raid took place at 1.25am yesterday when Mr Thorpe and his wife Dawn were woken by the door bell at their home in Bullards Lane, off Old Barrack Road.

Mr Thorpe went to answer it and presumed it could be an emergency as the couple live near the A12 and have helped motorists in accidents.

But he was surprised by a masked man, between 5ft 10in and 6ft tall, hiding in the covered porch next to the front door.

"He surprised rather than frightened me. I was astounded and thought 'Is this happening?' I was amazed to see somebody standing there with a balaclava covering his face, apart from the eyes and mouth, and he had a knife with him," recalled Mr Thorpe.

"His exact words were 'I have come for your money, all right'. I said there was no way I was giving money and stuck my shoulder to the door.

"He tried to force his way in through the door. I held him and shouted to my wife to ring for the police and when he heard me mention the police, he just ran.

"I was determined that he was not going to get in. I stood up to him and he was onto a loser. He sounded very amateurish, he was so mild with it."

Mr Thorpe said he wanted to make a public appeal to all residents in Woodbridge, which has enjoyed a low crime rate for many years.

"We live in a lovely little town and I think this is a lesson to everyone. You think it could never happen, but this has been an eye opener and people should realise it could happen to them – but we hope it never well," he added.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Woodbridge police on 01473 383460 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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