‘Callous’ theft from elderly Braunton woman

Police hunt suspect after “distraction burglary” style crime

A man who stole a 92-year-old woman’s �400 winter heating allowance after tricking his way into her Braunton home is being sought by police.

The suspect had apparently visited her home before as a door to door salesman and called between February 13-23. He was let inside after asking for a drink.

Four days later she realised �400 was missing from the handbag she kept in the lounge.

DC Keith Clarke of Ilfracombe CID said the lady was virtually blind and described the crime as “a despicable act.”


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“This was a callous and despicable theft, a cowardly act on a vulnerable and elderly lady,” he said.

The man had been left alone in the lounge as she made tea, then told her he had changed his mind about the tea and left.

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He is described as being in his 30s, not very tall and with fair hair. He was carrying a blue and black shoulder bag which contains the items he was selling.

On March 11 he called again, supposedly selling door to door, but this time on the advice of police she asked him to come to the window to be identified – and ran off when she recognised him and wouldn’t let him in.

Because of the way the suspect gained entry to the woman’s home police are treating the crime as a burglary and appealing for anyone who has been approached in similar circumstances, especially in the Braunton area, to contact them.

DC Clarke would also like to hear from anybody who might have information on the identity of the suspect. Contact him on (01271) 868132, quoting crime reference CN/11/46.

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