Cruel conmen fleeced a 93-year-old widower out of his life savings after they tricked their way into his home and stole thousands of pounds in cash. Posing as roofers the men claimed they were doing building work in the area and offered the elderly man a “special deal” if he paid a substantial deposit of more than £1,500.
The brazen burglars then followed the old man upstairs to his bedroom where he had kept his hard-earned savings and in seconds they grabbed all his money before fleeing the home. Appalled neighbours in Hurst Green Road, Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, West Mids, later turned detective, tracking down CCTV and doorbell footage which they have handed over to the police.
Police say inquiries are now underway to track down two men who were at the scene at the time of the incident.
The incident happened in Hurst Green Road in Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday April, while the 93-year-old widower was home alone. Local residents have now started a Gofundme page for the widower which has already hit more than £1,600.
One neighbour said of the conmen: “It is such a despicable thing to do. They had the audacity to corner him in his bedroom, he says it was very intimidating for him.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable, you are lost for words really, because it’s just the audacity of it, to rob anyone is terrible but then for it to be an old man on his own is horrible.
“He lives alone since his wife died two years ago, and we all look out for him, along with his family, who are really upset. He was shaking and really upset.
“At least they did not hurt him but he was very vulnerable. It’s affected him really badly. He is normally very careful but on this occasion the men seemed to have background knowledge that persuaded him they were legitimate.”
The video footage shared with the police shows two men getting out of the van at around 2.05pm on Tuesday and entering the house, departing 15 minutes later.
One man pictured on CCTV is dark haired, and wearing dark clothing, with a pair of workmen trousers with a hi-vis section in the lower part of the legs.
The other is of heavy build, wearing a distinctive dark top with a white stripe down the arm and a cap. In a statement, West Midlands Police said they were investigating the incident.
Sergeant Frances Clark, of Sutton and Erdington neighbourhood policing team, said: “We’ve taken statements, are examining CCTV and are determined to find who is behind this burglary, which has understandably left this poor man shaken.
“Patrols have been stepped up in the area and we are encouraging local people and community leaders to step up and look out for our elderly, vulnerable neighbours and friends.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact the police – please contact via Live Chat on the police website or call 101 and quote 20/337583/23. Or Speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.