A PENSIONER had his £8,000 life savings stolen by ‘despicable’ thieves who posed as workmen.
The conmen claimed the 79-year-old needed work doing to the roof and guttering of his Accrington home.
But when he went to get the £300 he had agreed for the work, one of the roofers distracted him as another emptied the man’s safe which contained all his savings. The theft has been described as ‘appalling and heart-less’ by councillors and police, who have launched an investi-gation to find those responsible.
They have released CCTV images of a van they believe may be connected with the theft.
Coun Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council, said: “It is a heartless act to do this and take a man’s life savings.
“The perpetrators must have no conscience whatsoever.”
The theft happened when three men called at the victim’s house, in Hyndburn Street.
MORE TOP STORIES:
The pensioner reluctantly agreed to the thieves carrying out repairs and they started to clean the guttering.
Minutes later, they told the man the price would be more as further work needed to be carried out.
The victim went to his bedroom where he kept a safe, but was then called downstairs by one of the fake workers to be shown what further work they planned on carrying out.
While he was outside, one of the men went upstairs, found the safe still open and snatched the cash from inside.
The three thieves then left immediately claiming they would come back after lunch, but never returned.
PC Andy Ronga said: “This is an absolutely despicable crime carried out against an elderly and vulnerable man who has had his life savings stolen.
“He has been taken advantage of in an appalling way.
“It truly beggars belief the levels that some people will go to.”
Coun Parkinson added: “It is a despicable act to do this to a senior resident and somebody who has put away for later life.
“The thieves must have no conscience, only self indulgence, and they will do it again and again until they are caught.”
The borough’s MP Graham Jones said: “It is absolutely despicable that someone in this day and age would think of stealing anything from an elderly person, let alone their life savings.
“When these perpetrators are caught, I would urge the judge to hand down a hefty sentence.”
The theft comes as police launched an investigation into a similar burglary at a ‘vulnerable’ pensioners home in Moss Street Great Harwood.
Two men called at the house claiming to be workmen there to repair the guttering. When they were allowed inside the house, they stole a small amount of cash, police said.
Officers are looking into whether the two attacks on Tuesday April 29 and last Friday could be linked.
PC Ronga said: “I would appeal for anyone who knows who these offenders are or who has any information to get in touch with the police.”
The first thief was described as a white man, aged 42 to 43, 5ft 8ins, and of medium build. He had a bald head with mousey coloured hair on the sides. He was also said to have had a couple of days’ growth of hair on his face, a scouse accent and was wearing black trousers and a black jacket with white writing on the back saying ‘roofing specialists’. He was carrying a filofax.
The second man was around 35-years-old, 6ft tall, of ‘gangly’, skinny build, with white hair that was swept and tassled dark ginger with thick sideburns.
He also had a few days’ growth on his face spoke with a northern accent. He was wearing similar clothing to the first thief.
The third man was also white and aged about 35. He was 5ft 8ins, of slim build and was wearing a dark coloured top and baseball cap.
They were travelling in what was thought to be a white Vauxhall Combi van with distinctive white wing mirrors.
A witness said they saw the words ‘rd roofing’ printed on it.