Suffolk man on police 'most wanted' list

A SUFFOLK man has been named today as one of Britain's 10 most wanted suspected doorstep criminals.

A SUFFOLK man has been named today as one of Britain's 10 most wanted suspected doorstep criminals.

Police want to trace nine men and a woman suspected of preying on elderly and vulnerable people in their homes.

Investigators have brought together a list of suspects who include offenders claiming to be water board officials, plumbers and even a police officer.

And among them is Patrick Gilheaney, aged between 20 and 25, from Suffolk, who is wanted in connection with a large number of burglaries committed between September 2008 and February 2009.


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The crimes took place in Suffolk, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Bedfordshire and Leicestershire, and the victims were mainly elderly.

Another wanted man, John Nolan, 22, is being hunted over the violent robbery of a 72-year-old woman who was attacked at her Belfast home.

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The most wanted list was brought together by the Operation Liberal specialist police unit that monitors distraction burglaries and distributed by charity Crimestoppers.

It echoes other successful publicity drives targeting violent criminals, suspects thought to have fled to Spain and missing paedophiles.

Derbyshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Peter Goodman said the cold weather has led to reports of burglars using snow and ice as excuses to try to prey on residents.

He said: "Distraction burglars trick their way into the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, generally by pretending to be an official of some kind or asking for assistance.

"Operation Liberal works together with all UK police forces to target and bring to justice those individuals who prey on the vulnerable in society.

"Our message is - if you're not sure who is calling, then don't open the door, check their identity first.

"There have been many recent examples of vigilant members of the public reporting suspicious behaviour to the police which has led to a number of distraction burglars being arrested. We want this to continue.”

Lord Ashcroft, of Crimestoppers, said distraction burglars are "hideous individuals' who often take life-long treasured possessions and money from elderly people.

He said: "Some victims suffer a decline in health and even die as a result of the trauma caused by these criminals.'

Patrick Gilheaney is described as white, of slim build, 5ft 4ins tall, with dark hair.

To view the 10 most wanted individuals visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org/wanted.

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