When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Intruders who robbed Joseph, 92, and 88-year-old woman, are lashed by MP Birtwistle
TWO pensioners have told of their ordeal as thieves raided their Burnley homes within just 12 hours.
Second World War veteran Joseph Gilchrist, 92, had a jar full of coins he was saving up for his granddaughter's Christmas present stolen.
And an 88-year-old widow woke up in the early hours to find a man creeping into her bedroom in a separate incident.
Police are now hunting the two thieves who left the victims seriously shaken. Mr Gilchrist, who served in the Army as an engineer for seven years, described the moment the female thief targeted his house just off Colne Road.
He said: “I was so upset when I realised what had happened. I’m so annoyed at myself for letting it happen. I never locked my door before but I know now I’ve got to be very careful.”
The woman, described as being aged between 30 and 40, 5ft 4 tall and dressed in scruffy clothing, barged past the great-grandfather-of-three into his living room.
She began showing him a laptop and tried to convince him to buy it, when she doubled up. The thief said she was ill and asked if he could use his toilet.
Mr Gilchrist said: “She looked full of drugs. I didn’t want anything to happen to her in my house, so I said she could. She had been upstairs for a long time and so I went upstairs. There was a really strong smell of drugs up there. I don’t know what, but it was drugs. I told her to get out of my house and not come back.”
She went downstairs, but by the time Mr Gilchrist, who uses a stairlift, had got downstairs, she had taken the jar of pennies, his Vodafone mobile phone and around £5 in change.
Then in sheltered accommodation near Burnley's Turf Moor ground a widow, who asked to remain anonymous, was left terrified when she saw a man in black lingering outside her bedroom door.
She said she froze in bed as she was frightened he would hit her with her walking sticks.
She said: “I thought it must be a ghost. His arm was inside my bedroom. I think he must have been trying to find the light switch to turn the light off, but it was my night light. When I realised it was a burglar, I was terrified. I keep my walking sticks on top of my bed, and I thought he would batter me with them if he realised I could see him. I was too scared to move.”
The thief stole her handbag containing her address book, bus pass, £20 in cash, and make up.
DC Phil McGauley, of Burnley CID, who is in charge of investigating Mr Gilchrist’s burglary, said: “This is a disgraceful crime. With this kind of offence against a vulnerable elderly person, we’re going to make every effort to ensure she’s brought before the courts as soon as possible.”
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “The people who have done this to these vulnerable elderly people are absolute scumbags. It would be horrifying for anyone to have their house burgled likes this, let alone people in their 80s and 90s. I hope the police use every facility they have to catch these cowards and lock them up.”
Anyone who has information about the incidents, which happened between 5.30pm and 6pm on Sunday and at 6.30am on Monday, should call police on 101.
Comments are closed on this article.