Two men have been sentenced for more than 10 years at Carlisle Crown Court for burglary of a 77 year old deaf woman in her home.
Bryan Dance, aged 49, originally from Carlisle but living at Sherwood Avenue, Nottingham pleaded not guilty and his son Steven Dance, aged 25, from Borland Avenue, Botcherby pleaded guilty. Both men were found guilty of the burglary and sentenced to six years and four and a half years respectively.
It happened 22nd May 2012, when police were contacted by an employee of Deaf Vision on behalf of the woman. The victim has been deaf from birth and is limited in her communication skills. After the lighting system told her someone was at the door she went to see who it was.
Two men were stood there and she indicated that she was unable to hear them, but understood that they were there to sell her items. She let the men into her home made them cups of tea and bought £20 worth of items. When she came back after making more tea they had left and had taken £150.
Detective Constable Chris Hind said: “This was an appalling crime against a vulnerable, elderly, lady. These two men quickly recognised how vulnerable this person was and stolen from her, in total they were in her home for about 10 minutes.
"Not only were they able to quickly search other rooms and steal money which she had been keeping aside for her trip to the bingo but took back the items that they had sold to her. The sentence given today reflects the dreadful nature of this crime.
“I would like to that this opportunity to thank the victims care workers and interpreter at Deaf vision, who provided essential support to the victim.
“We continue to advise everyone to be careful who they let into their homes, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because someone has identification that they are from where they say. If you are uncertain, [telephone and] check with the company, otherwise don’t let them in and shut the door.”
If you are aware of any suspicious callers in your area or wish to speak to an officer about safety advice, ring Cumbria Constabulary on 101.
Cumbria police are warning residents in Carlisle that burglaries at insecure properties are continuing to rise.
In April 2012, 41% of house burglaries were down to insecurities and insecure burglaries have continued to rise to a staggering 58% between August and September this year.
17 out of 29 reported burglaries between the beginning of August and 10th September were committed at homes where windows or doors were left unlocked.
The burglaries are happening across the city with no specific hotspots.
Detective Inspector Furzana Nazir said:
“The rising number of burglaries shows that the public are still making life easy for criminals. Leaving your home or property insecure will result in someone trying to get in and, if they can get in, they will - and you can say goodbye to your belongings.
“There is no clear time of day when this is happening. The burglaries have generally been scattered across the city which indicates that criminals are just trying their luck. It’s the homes that are left insecure that are being targeted.
“We all need to be vigilant against criminals. Generally speaking, people are aware they need to lock their doors but the number of crime reports we receive suggests that this isn’t happening and people don’t believe it will happen to them. The sad fact is it can – and you are far more likely to be a victim if you leave your property insecure.
“People work hard to afford nice things and nice homes so, please don’t be complacent with your security. If you spend a lot of time in one area of the house which could mean that you wouldn’t hear the front or back door if they were opened –lock them."
– Detective Inspector Furzana Nazir
Police officers will continue their patrols in the local community and are on hand to provide advice to residents who are concerned.
Police in Cumbria say 6 out of 10 burglaries happen because homes are left unlocked. 19 of the 32 break-ins reported in Penrith and Carlisle since the beginning of July happened because doors or windows were left unlocked.
Cumbria Police are urging people not to leave windows open as opportunistic thefts are a growing problem. The current heat wave is causing many people to be less security conscious and leave home without locking up their homes properly. They say an open window is an invitation to a thief.
Police are investigating a burglary and theft at the CO-OP pharmacy, King Street, Wigton, which took place at around 2:30 am on 1 March 2012. A 21 year old Wigton man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and has been bailed until 24 April 2012 pending further enquiries.
During the burglary a large quantity of both prescription and controlled drugs were stolen. Approximately 1/4 of these drugs have been recovered. However there are still a number which are missing and police are warning anyone against using any drugs which have not been prescribed to them.
"It is important that people realise the dangers in taking both prescribed and controlled drugs that a doctor has not personally prescribed for them. We are wanting to recover all of the items stolen and would ask members of the public to get in touch.