Community shaken by shock burglaries

submitted pic - after a burglary this morning, the living room of a 99 year old lady on Barrowcliff Road. submitted in News

submitted pic - after a burglary this morning, the living room of a 99 year old lady on Barrowcliff Road. submitted in News

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A SCARBOROUGH community is still shaken a fortnight after two burglaries targeted elderly and vulnerable victims.

A SCARBOROUGH community is still shaken a fortnight after two burglaries targeted elderly and vulnerable victims.

99 year old woman burgled in her home on Barrowcliff Road this morning. Pictured, local resident Bill Chatt, who chased the youth through this back garden, when he saw him at the lady's front door.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  114701b   21/11/11

99 year old woman burgled in her home on Barrowcliff Road this morning. Pictured, local resident Bill Chatt, who chased the youth through this back garden, when he saw him at the lady's front door. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114701b 21/11/11

On Tuesday it was revealed that police had made three arrests in connection with two incidents.

Reporter IAN DUNCAN spoke to several elderly people from the area and they told of their shock and concern at hearing the news of the crimes.

EVERY Monday morning older Barrowcliff residents get together for a chat, a game of bingo and a welcome hot meal.

They meet at the Wreyfield Drive Pop In Club and for some it is a rare opportunity to meet others.

This week the talk was of two burglaries which had happened two weeks earlier and had targeted elderly – the vulnerable victims were known to most of the members.

Detectives believe that the two incidents – which targeted a 99-year-old woman in Barrowcliff Road and a 78-year-old man in Gildercliffe – are linked.

Margaret, 71, said she was burgled 30 years ago and it took a long time to get over the experience. She added: “It feels not very nice – creepy. I was worried about going to bed at night and I was double checking that the doors were locked.”

She said that when she heard about the recent burglaries she was “absolutely disgusted”. She added: “It is the fact of their age and it is nearly Christmas.”

A 73-year-old, who was also called Margaret, said the crimes were dispicable. She said: “I am always conscious about security – making sure that the back door is shut and locked.

“If it’s night-time and you don’t know who it is then don’t answer the door or use your security chain if you’ve got one.”

And 76-year-old Deryn said she could not believe what had happened. She said: “I lock my door as soon as I get in the house.”

Cath, 65, said that the elderly were seen as easy targets. She added: “If they didn’t get her in her house they’d get her outside. Something should have been done a long time ago.

“I’ve had a break-in – they reached in through my letterbox – I don’t know how they did it.”

And 81-year-old Rita said it was a scary situation. She said: “It’s coming to something when you are literally locked in your own home all day.”

Christine, 68, said that she thought the burglaries were disgusting. She added: “I knew her. It’s bad enough when it’s taken from younger ones.

“I’ve had my car broken into twice within three weeks. I had my stereo taken and it was over £1,000 worth of damage – I had to have the dashboard replaced.”

Julia, 71, said she was devastated when she heard what had happened because she had known the 99-year-old victim all her life. She added: “I certainly do check my door – I’ve always done it. I think it’s awful that you are not safe in your own house nowadays.

“Once you could leave your doors open but now you’ve got to make sure that everything’s locked even your windows. They are just so vulnerable at that age.”

It is understood that the 99-year-old victim was left so shaken and confused as a result of her ordeal that she will have to move into a home for her own safety.

Two 30-year-old men and a 22-year-old man were arrested in connection with the crimes. One of the 30-year-olds has been released without further action. The other two remain on police bail as enquiries continue. Police continue to investigate the two burglaries and are appealing for further witnesses.

The crimes were committed during the early hours of Monday, November 21, and police this week made a renewed appeal for information which was relevant to the investigation.

One of the suspects was described as between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall, with a heavy build, weighed about 15st and had short dark hair. He was wearing a dark top and gloves and spoke with a foreign accent.

The suspect ran off across neighbouring Barrowcliff Road gardens in the direction of Bracken Hill after he was disturbed by neighbour.

n Contact police on 0845 6060247 – quoting reference number 12110196884 – or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.