Hunt for thug who stole pensioner's purse

CLUES: Clear CCTV image of the suspect

CLUES: Clear CCTV image of the suspect

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Detectives probing the cowardly burglary of a pensioner in her sheltered accommodation are hoping new CCTV images will trace the thug.

The thief walked into a sheltered accommodation complex on Lucerne Road, Fulwood, Preston, on May 15 and told a 70-year-old woman he had “come to see his grandma.”

CLUES: Clear CCTV image of the suspect

CLUES: Clear CCTV image of the suspect

He had told another elderly resident he was “in the wrong room” moments earlier.

The trusting woman believed him and went to the kitchen to get him a drink of water - but while she was distracted he stole her purse, containing £60 cash.

He drank the water and left.

The pensioner, who police say is vulnerable, then discovered her purse was missing.

Officers launched enquiries and found the man did not have any relatives at the accommodation.

Today DC Warren Gibson of Lancashire Police said: “This is a particularly nasty crime in which the offender is targeting elderly and vulnerable victims and it is imperative that we catch him in order to prevent similar offences from happening.

“The fact that he had a ready made excuse shows that he is prepared for these types of offences, especially when confronted with a person inside their private rooms.

“We are seeking the assistance of the public to identify the man in the images”.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01257 246249, 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.