Police appeal after 'cowardly' robberies at elderly woman's home

Date published: 28 December 2018

Officers are appealing for information after an elderly woman was burgled twice in one week at her home in Rochdale.

On the evening of Sunday, December 16, 2018, a 97-year-old woman was in her house in Park Road, Rochdale when her house alarm was activated.

An unknown man who was seemingly passing by at the time approached the woman and offered to help, but he quickly left when a neighbour arrived.

The following day (Monday, December 17, 2018), sometime between 5pm and 9pm, an unknown man knocked on the woman’s front door and claimed he was there to fix the alarm.

Once the bogus caller was inside, he stole the woman’s purse containing a small amount of cash from her handbag.

Six days later, on Sunday, December 23, the same woman heard a knock on her front window around 7.30pm but she ignored it.

Soon after, a man smashed the rear patio window and broke into the woman’s house.

Once inside, he opened the woman’s Christmas cards, seemingly searching for cash.

He then approached the woman as she sat in her armchair and lifted the necklace she was wearing over her head before leaving the address with it.

The long gold chain contained the woman’s gold wedding ring, which is of great sentimental value and a family heirloom which had been passed down from her grandmother.

Officers are treating both incidents as linked.

Detective Constable Jordan Wilcock, from Rochdale CID, said: “Thankfully, the woman was not injured but she was understandably very shaken up by this ordeal.

“It is sickening that a 97-year-old woman was targeted in this way and had her precious jewellery snatched from around her neck in her own home.

“The photo of the necklace is not the best quality, but we are hoping people might recognise it and help us return it to the victim.

“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously or anything unusual in the area at the time?

"Any information you have may be vital in allowing us to catch the cowardly thug who robbed this vulnerable and elderly woman.”

Anyone with any information should call police on 0161 856 8635 quoting incident number 1948 of 23 December 2018.

Information can also be passed on anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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