Last week, my mum, who lives in sheltered accommodation, was a victim of a burglary, along with another woman in the same block of flats. A new door, which was fob key operated, had been recently installed, and the intruder, the police suspected, had followed a resident or carer into the building whilst the door was closing. The police timed the door and it took on average around 15 seconds to finally close.
I have to say that when I reported it last Saturday morning (on-line as I couldn’t get through by telephone) I received a response straight away with a crime reference number, followed up an hour later by a telephone call acknowledging my report. Later on that same evening I received two calls from one of the police officers who visited my mother and the other lady later on in the day.
My mum is starting to get very forgetful - I think she is starting to show early signs of dementia, but to be honest, for her to get to 98 with all her faculties, she has done very well. She and the other lady had not locked their internal doors, despite being told by the warden (and myself and the families of all the other residents on many occasions to do so). The intruder saw his opportunity (and yes, I know he was male as some other residents had seen him in the building but didn’t challenge him) entered my mum’s flat, probably while she was in it at the time (she never leaves her flat, only to go to the bin or laundry room) and never early or late evening. He took her purse (which was found a few days later and handed in to the warden as her name and address was in it) empty of the money of course, but thankfully as I have power of attorney, no banker’s card. What was more upsetting was that when my mum and I checked to see if anything else was missing 3 rings (including a very expensive diamond ring of over 50 years) and a gold bracelet was missing.
It could have been a lot worse, my mum could have been attacked or mugged in her own home and thankfully she wasn’t. She is also very deaf, has her TV on very loud and wouldn’t have heard anyone enter her flat.
The police have been marvellous, no CCTV was in place, and they have taken steps with the housing association to rectify this. They don’t hold out much hope of the jewellery turning up and my mother had only the basic insurance which wouldn’t cover the cost of an expensive ring (my fault, as I should have realised this).
I have accepted that the jewellery and money are gone, but what I can’t come to terms with is that some scumbag entered a supposedly save sheltered housing block of flats and robbed two elderly ladies (the other lady also had money and jewellery stolen and her purse was subsequently found in the street opposite as well).
I feel so helpless, angry and basically want to seriously hurt this individual - and I am a very passive person. My mother now keeps her door locked - too late after the horse has bolted - but I am so upset that this has happened to her and another vulnerable person.
Sorry for the rant but I feel I had to let off steam. There is nothing more I can do, only to support my mum, who thankfully (due to her early dementia I feel) hasn’t been traumatised by all of this) and I just feel so angry and can’t stop crying over it. Thanks for listening.
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