West Midlands Police is investigating a series of nasty Black Country burglaries in which thieves have targeted the homes of elderly residents.
Detectives are probing at least five break-ins yesterday where it’s believed three male offenders – said to be white and in their 30s or 40s – have forced entry to homes on the hunt for cash and jewellery. Offences have been reported in Dudley and Wolverhampton and follow similar incidents last week in Walsall.
In one of the most shocking incidents heartless crooks threatened an 89-year-old man – who is registered deaf – with a brick and barged him over in the hallway of his home in Amblecote, Stourbridge, yesterday evening before running off empty handed.
Offenders later broke into an 89-year-old woman’s house in Dudley before swiping her purse – and at around 8.30pm last night an 84-year-old man was sprayed in the face with a substance after men kicked open the door to his Bilston home. He was not seriously hurt.
West Midlands Police Detective Sergeant Leighton Shingles is appealing for information on the men and has urged residents to be cautious when receiving unsolicited visitors. He said:
“We’re certainly looking at a series of linked break-ins. In some cases doors have been forced open with metal bars and on other occasions victims have been rushed having answered a knock at the door.
“But what connects all these incidents is that it appears elderly residents are being deliberately targeted…that’s what makes it particularly distasteful. One elderly female victim was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack due to the shock of what happened.
“We’d also urge residents not to open the door to people who arrive unannounced on their doorstep and to call the police if they see anything suspicious.”
People are urged to call West Midlands Police on 101 or Live Chat via WMP Online; alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Callers won’t be asked for their names and calls cannot be traced.