Woman, 97, burgled twice in a week and has wedding ring taken from around her neck
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Woman, 97, burgled twice in a week and has wedding ring taken from around her neck

POLICE have slammed two ‘sickening’ burglaries in which a 97-year-old woman was targeted in the run-up to Christmas.

During one of the burglaries, the robber opened the woman’s Christmas cards and took her wedding ring from around her neck as she sat helpless.

Officers in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England have now appealed for information as they bid to catch the ‘cowardly thug’.

Bogus caller

On the evening of Sunday, December 16, the woman was in her house in Park Road, Rochdale when her house alarm was activated.

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An unknown man, who was seemingly passing by at the time, approached the woman and offered to help but quickly left when a neighbour arrived.

The following day between 5pm and 9pm, an unknown man knocked on the woman’s front door claiming he was there to fix the alarm.

However once the bogus caller was inside, he stole the woman’s purse containing a small amount of cash from her handbag.

Second incident

Sadly, the woman was targeted six days later in an incident police believe is linked to the first.

On Sunday, December 23, the woman heard a knock on her front window around 7.30pm but ignored it.

Soon after, a man smashed the rear patio window and broke into the woman’s house.

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Once inside, he opened the woman’s Christmas cards, seemingly searching for cash.

He then approached the woman as she sat in her armchair and lifted the necklace she was wearing over her head before leaving.

The long gold chain contained the woman’s gold wedding ring – a family heirloom passed down from her grandmother, which holds great sentimental value.

‘Cowardly thug’

“Thankfully, the woman was not injured but she was understandably very shaken up by this ordeal,” said Detective Constable Jordan Wilcock.

“It is sickening that a 97-year-old woman was targeted in this way and had her precious jewellery snatched from around her neck in her own home.

“The photo of the necklace is not the best quality, but we are hoping people might recognise it and help us return it to the victim.”

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She added: “Any information you have may be vital in allowing us to catch the cowardly thug who robbed this vulnerable and elderly woman.”

Anyone with any information should call police on 0161 856 8635, quoting incident number 1948 of December 23, 2018.