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Police hunt man who stole from vulnerable pensioner

Police appealing for help to catch this man Credit: Sussex police

Police are appealing for witnesses after a burglar broke into a vulnerable pensioner's home as she slept.

The 81-year-old was woken by the sound of her doorbell in Boundary Road, Crawley, at about 11.30am on Saturday 7 February.

The victim, who was in bed, then watched as a man entered her bedroom and began searching through her cupboards.

He took a gold and pearl necklace but then left.

Police have prepared an efit of a suspect.

He is described as white, 25 to 30 and plump or stocky. He had thick bushy eyebrows, a swarthy complexion, stubble on his chin and dark eyes.

He was wearing dark clothing.

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.

Detective Constable Jodie Palmer said: "This was a very upsetting incident for the victim and we are determined to catch the man responsible.

"If you recognise the man in the efit or have any information about the burglary, please contact us urgently."

Anyone with information should call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


  1. Tom Savvides

Burglars threaten 83-year old in her bedroom

An eighty three year old woman, who was threatened with torture and kidnap by burglars, has been speaking about her terrifying ordeal. They broke into the home of former antiques dealer Mary Smith at Chilham near Canterbury in the early hours of the morning. Tom Savvides has this report.

Woman threatened with blade during robbery

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after an aggravated burglary in West Parley.

Between 7pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 December 2014, two masked men entered an address on Christchurch Road, near to the Parley Cross traffic lights.

The offenders threatened the female occupant with a bladed weapon while she was downstairs and demanded money. They ordered the victim upstairs before tying her up by her wrists and ankles.

An unknown quantity of cash and two dark coloured briefcases containing sentimental items were stolen.

One of the briefcases is described as an old fashioned-type with opening clips. The second case has silver markings at the top, rounded corners and a code dial to unlock.

Offenders also stole a quantity of jewellery, including a distinctive ‘jacket’ ring, which is a wishbone-shaped ring with diamonds on each wishbone and a diamond ring set inside.

Both men wore masks and are described as being between five feet four inches and six feet tall and of medium build.

The first man wore all dark clothing and a hood over his head and face.

The second offender wore blue tracksuit trousers with a white stripe down the side and a dark coloured hooded top with the hood up.

“This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who was home alone at the time. Thankfully she was uninjured. I would like to reassure members of public that crimes such as this are rare in Dorset. I am appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time of this incident and noticed anyone acting suspiciously or saw anything out of the ordinary to come forward. If you have been offered for sale any of the unusual items described, I urge you to call Dorset Police on 101. All calls will be dealt with in strict confidence.”

– Detective Constable Jo Shewbridge, of Bournemouth CID

78 year-old reunited with war medals stolen from his home

A 78-year-old burglary victim has been reunited with a set of medals that were stolen from his Pennington home.The medals, some of which were war medals awarded to his father and grandfathers, were stolen during a burglary at an address on North Street, Pennington on September 21.

Officers investigating the burglary received information about the likely whereabouts of the stolen property and located the medals on November 20.

The medals have now been returned to their rightful owner.

Victim confronts burglar

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after a burglary in Faringdon. At around 5.30am this morning, an offender gained entry to a house in Church Street through an unsecure rear door.

The offender made his way to the bedroom where he opened the door and was confronted by the victim. The victim, an elderly woman, shouted at the offender and he ran away.

No property was stolen and no one was injured during the incident. Anyone with information should call Thames Valley Police via 101.

If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.


Aggravated burglary in Bournemouth

Detectives in Bournemouth are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after an aggravated burglary in the Boscombe area of the town.

The incident happened at around 5pm on Saturday 18 October 2014 at an address along Palmerston Road.

A large group of men wearing balaclavas entered the house and approached the victim. One man held a gun to the victim’s head while another held a knife to his throat – they all spoke with London accents.

The victim who is in his late teens was subsequently sprayed in the eye with an acid type substance and is still recovering in hospital.

The victim has described one of the attackers as white, around six feet tall, of thin build and wearing a grey beanie hat and scarf or balaclava. He had a pronounced bridge area on his nose and was wearing a dark blue waterproof coat.

“This was a very distressing incident for the victim having suffered a serious eye injury. I would urge anyone who saw suspicious activity along Palmerston Road between 4.50pm and 5.30pm on Saturday 18 October to come forward. Anyone with information about the men responsible should contact police in confidence.”

– Detective Sergeant Paul Auger, of Bournemouth CID

Teenager admits going on burglary spree

A 17-year-old boy has admitted going on a burglary spree across Brighton and Hove and West Sussex.

The teenager from Crawley broke into 12 homes across the county between 3 September and 24 September, stealing everything from bikes, clothing and electrical items to jewellery, cash, watches and sunglasses.

Police were able to link each of the break-ins to the boy after finding his fingerprints at the addresses in Crawley, Worthing, Brighton and Hove.

The first burglaries were committed in Barber Close, Crawley, on 3 September and 9 September before a home in Wantage Close, Crawley, was burgled on 11 September.

Over the next two weeks the boy also broke into homes in Marine Parade, Worthing, in Belvedere Terrace, Ditchling Rise, Clarendon Terrace, College Terrace and Victoria Road, Brighton, and addresses in Brunswick Road and Brunswick Square, Hove.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody to be sentenced at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 21 October.

"The boy already had a conviction for burglary before he committed the dozen crimes across the county. He was selling what he could steal for a fraction of the value and was likely to continue committing crime until he was caught. We were able to link him to each of the break-ins because of good work by detectives and the crime scene investigators who visited the victims and found the boy's fingerprints."

– Detective Sergeant Kate Witt

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.

Among the other successes for the team in recent days have been:

- the charging of Christopher Dooley, 26, with a burglary in Ceylon Place, Eastbourne, on 29 August. Dooley, of Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, was told to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 30 October.

- the charging of Dylan Battams, 18, with a burglary in Upperton Road, Eastbourne, on 29 July. Battams, of no fixed address, was released on bail to appear at Hastings Magistrates' Court on 22 October.

- the charging of James Carty, 22, Shane Breaker, 34, and a 17-year-old boy with theft, handling stolen goods and burglaries in Crabbet Road, Crawley, and Langridge Lane, Broadbridge Heath.

Carty, of Outwood, Redhill, Breaker, of Lydia Park, Cranleigh, and the 17-year-old were ordered to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 20 October.

- the charging of Martin Collins, 41, with burglaries in Stanford Avenue, London Road and Reed Close, Hassocks, and Chanctonbury Road, Burgess Hill. Collins, of Mackie Avenue, Brighton, was ordered to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 20 October.

- the charging of Matthew Butler, 41, with a burglary in York Road, Brighton, on 4 October. Butler, of no fixed address, is due to appear at Croydon Magistrates on 20 October.

- the charging of Jack Kemp, 21, with a burglary in East Walls, Chichester, on 16 September. Kemp, of Walton Road, Bognor Regis, is due to appear at Chichester Crown Court on 20 October.

- the arrest of two men aged 21 and 29 and a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of a burglary in Cropthorne Drive, Climping, between 22 September and 29 September. They were released on bail until 9 November.

- the arrest of a 33-year-old man on suspicion of two burglaries in Grosvenor Road, Chichester, between 5 September and 8 September. He was released on bail until 12 November.

- the arrest of a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of a burglary in Ifield Drive, Crawley, on 18 September. He was released on bail until 22 October.

- the arrest of two boys aged 10 and 11 on suspicion of breaking into The Laurels First School in Winterbourne Way, Worthing, on 4 October. They were released on bail until 8 November.

- the arrest of a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of a burglary in Main Road, Westfield, on 9 September. The teenager was released on bail until 23 November.

- the arrest of a 37-year-old man on suspicion of six burglaries in Marina Street, Grand Parade and Warrior Gardens in St Leonards as well as Lower Park Road in Hastings. He was questioned before being released on bail to a date to be set.

If you have any information about burglaries, call 101 or email . For crime prevention advice visit

If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.

Cross-dressing burglar caught trying on clothes by home owner

A cross-dressing burglar caught trying on women's clothing in a house he broke into, has been jailed for three years.

The prolific burglar was disturbed by the homeowners before he had a chance to steal anything as he had become waylaid dressing up in women's clothes.

Kieron O'Keefe, aged 23 years, spent two to three hours in the house dressing up, scrawling graffiti on a computer and ransacking drawers, a court heard.

Mr Recorder Stephen Rubin said the raider hadbehaved in a "weird fashion" in the house.

This was his fourth burglary in three years andpolice had taken to knocking on his family's door whenever there was a burglaryin the area.

O'Keefe broke into the home in Reading in August and was jailed for three years at Reading Crown Court.

Thieves smash their way into Newbury gadget shop

Thieves have used concrete paving slabs to break into a hi-tech gadget shop in Newbury. It happened at around 5.30 yesterday morning at the Stormfront store on Northbrook Street which sells Apple products like iphones and ipads. It's not known yet how much was stolen.

ITV Meridian spoke to James Collard, Retail Director at Stormfront.

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