Cruel conmen prey on elderly couple

A COUPLE in their 90s say they have been forced out of their Ravensthorpe home after a year of being dogged by thieves and conmen.

The couple moved to a ground floor flat in Myrtle Road a year ago and have been plagued ever since by visits from bogus collectors and workmen. Each time the confused couple have handed over money and have lost hundreds as a result.

The final straw came last Monday when a teenage boy claiming to be working for their milkman got into their flat and stole their door key. Later that night the couple were burgled, and every penny they own was taken.

The woman, aged 92, told the Reporter: “I had been saving for Christmas and now we have nothing. I don’t even have any money to pay my rent. I’m scared stiff to answer the door and too scared to go out. We’ve only been in Ravensthorpe a year but I wish we had never set eyes on the place.”

A week before the burglary, a youth knocked on the couple’s door and claimed he was collecting money for their new milkman. He asked if he could go inside because he was cold and after being handed 15 he ran off. Later a cigarette lighter and a purse was found missing. A youth was later arrested and has been released on bail.

Then last Monday two youths – one aged around nine, wearing a cream bomber jacket and another aged about 16 – called on the couple, also claiming to be collecting for the milkman. The youths were allowed inside and later door keys were found missing from a jacket pocket.

The police were called and around midnight, when patrolling the area, officers saw the couple’s door was wide open.

Burglars had got inside using the key stolen earlier and burgled the couple as they slept.

More than 100, a CD player, handbag and purses were taken. Clothes and papers were thrown everywhere and family photographs were ripped up.

The couple have been offered a place in Batley and said they were looking forward to a new start there.

Det Con Russ Conlon, from Kirklees CID, said: “Never answer the door to someone you don’t know. Try to make prior arrangements with visitors from the gas or electricity board etc. Get your neighbour’s telephone number and if you are in doubt, keep the door locked, phone them and ask them to come round and support you.”