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Woman, 92, burgled as she slept in Norwich sheltered housing complex

PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:31 01 July 2010

Det Con Lou Provart is appealing for witnesses after a burglary at Albert Nichols Court in Norwich

Det Con Lou Provart is appealing for witnesses after a burglary at Albert Nichols Court in Norwich

Peter Walsh

A detective investigating the burglary of a 92-year-old woman as she slept in her sheltered accommodation in the city has today urged other vulnerable people to help prevent themselves becoming victims of crime.

A detective investigating the burglary of a 92-year-old woman as she slept in her sheltered accommodation in the city has today urged other vulnerable people to help prevent themselves becoming victims of crime.

A burglar forced his way into the rear of a property at sheltered housing complex, off Philadelphia Lane, Norwich, while the elderly victim was inside and stole a television, two glass ornaments, and a handbag containing cash.

The offender has been branded a “low life” and a “coward” by the son of the victim who wrote to the Evening News to reveal his “disgust” at the crime which has left the family and victim devastated.

He said: “You stole her TV, which was her main source of enjoyment during the day and evening. You crept into her bedroom like the coward you are while she was sleeping and stole her handbag containing her purse with her pension money, also her glasses and other personal items.

“You stole her cut glass ornaments, which have great sentimental value, but worst of all you invaded the security and privacy of her home. She greeted me at her door crying “Why me? Why me?” I had to tell her that she and others are elderly and vulnerable and they are the sort of innocent people you and your ilk prey on. You are beneath contempt.”

Norfolk police's Detective Constable Lou Provart, who is investigating the burglary which happened sometime between 10.45pm on Saturday, May 1 and 7.45am on Sunday, May 2 said the crime has had a major impact on the victim.

He said: “I spent quite a lot of time with her and her family. It's had such an impact on the victim and given the vulnerability she now feels I don't think she's had the confidence to stay at the house.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward with any information they might have about the offence which he believes was opportunistic.

DC Provart said: “I think what's happened is the burglar has been trying the doors to see which ones have been left enterable and shoulder barged the chain, entered the building and had a quick search and then out.”

The detective said the property was now being given a crime prevention assessment by officers, but added that people needed to do their bit to prevent themselves becoming victims.

He said: “People should feel safe and secure in their own homes and it's just by taking a few steps, like ensuring that doors are locked, things don't get left on windows, before they go to sleep.”

Anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious in the area or who has information about the suspect should contact DC Lou Provart at Bethel Street CID on 0845 456 4567. Alternatively they should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Have you been the victim of an opportunistic burglary? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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