Gransnet forums


My 98 year old mother was burgled

(46 Posts)
Freeandeasy Sun 17-Nov-19 18:47:43

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.

Gonegirl Sun 17-Nov-19 18:53:01

My God. That is truly horrible. You are not the only one who would like to seriously hurt this individual. Thank God your poor mum seems to be ok.

I hope the police can catch this sod.

Pantglas2 Sun 17-Nov-19 18:59:26


Don’t blame yourself- you’re not responsible for raising someone who could do such a thing to an elderly person - what a hero he must be eh!

Nico97 Sun 17-Nov-19 19:01:09

Makes my blood boil to think of the elderly and vulnerable being preyed on like this. I would willingly take a piece of
2 x 2 to the smug ugly faces of those who do angry

pinkquartz Sun 17-Nov-19 19:09:57

OP I am sorry for you mum who sounds amazing and very strong.

Sadly there are certain thieves who target sheltered accommodation homes.

I was living in sheltered but in a different town 20 years ago when I woke in the night hearing a burglar trying to open the main window, The Carer had not locked the small window but luckily she had locked the main one.

I was very scared. The thief had no luck with me but did rob 2 other nearby homes.

The police caught him through fingerprints on my and the others windows, and he was the grandson of a neighbour.

Katyj Sun 17-Nov-19 19:22:10

So so sorry to hear this, your poor mum. My elderley mum lives in sheltered accommodation, and I worry about the key safe outside,she is also very deaf and never hears me, go in until I'm actually stood by her side.What terrible people, to rob an old lady of her possessions, especially her ring, which will hold a lot of memories for her and you.For this reason, and only recently I have taken my mums jewellery box to my house for safety, and put it on my house insurance. Thank goodness your mum is okay and at least she's not too upset by it all, and her neighbour too .Absolutely dispicable, hope they catch them.

harrigran Sun 17-Nov-19 19:31:31

I am disgusted by the low life scum preying on the elderly, if I had a say I would bring back the village stocks and hand round cases of rotting vegetables.

Magpie1959 Sun 17-Nov-19 19:35:46

Sending you and your Mum much sympathy Freeandeasy. Its hard to stomach that such scumbags are out there targeting the most vulnerable in our society.
My Mum lives in a Sheltered housing flat and has twice been woken in the early hours by a young woman, supposedly in distress, asking to be allowed inside to escape an abusive partner! Fortunately my Mum still has her faculties and told the woman that she couldn't get to the door to let her in but would call the police to help her.
It was all captured on CCTV and the police told Mum she had done the right thing. Unbelievably a lot of the other residents gave mum a hard time for not opening the doors!

moggie57 Sun 17-Nov-19 19:44:43

my mum was robbed too. actually she was in the hospice having chemo. ok she did leave her window open a few inches for the cat to squeeze in and out.,...neighbour was meant to check every day twice that all was was awful police turning up on our doorstep...we found they taken rings .my mums wedding and engagement ring and some older type coins. broke into her wooden magic box .its a box that has a secret opening. all that was in there was the spare key. cat wasnt anywhere to be seen ,but found under a car down the road..scared witless. radio.cassette taken.not a lot else ,but it felt so horrible .to think someone been in my mums home and turned it upside down.and all the while she was having cancer treatment.b****y evil gits...mum been gone 21 years now ..

EllanVannin Sun 17-Nov-19 19:52:48

What a truly horrendous thing to have happened. First of all I'm glad to hear that your mum is alright.

There are no words to describe these low-lifes who target the elderly and vulnerable. How dare they think it's their right to take someone's property. It just fills me with horror in thinking what would have happened if they'd been seen. Sickening thought because these monsters stop at nothing.

When this happens in a supposed secure environment it's more frightening than ever. It's just horrible and I'm sure I'd die of fright.

MissAdventure Sun 17-Nov-19 20:04:19

The lowest of the low, people who would steal from someone living in sheltered housing.

I hope whoever did it never knows a moments peace.

Oopsminty Sun 17-Nov-19 20:10:36

I hate hearing about this sort of thing.

What on earth possesses anyone to enter the home of an elderly person.

Thank goodness your Mum is OK.

I can understand your fury

SueDonim Sun 17-Nov-19 20:14:26

I'm so sorry, OP. Your poor mum. flowers

It makes you wonder what sort of low-life would do this. Give him to Gransnetters for half an hour and I can guarantee he wouldn't do it again. angry

rafichagran Sun 17-Nov-19 20:20:26

So sorry for your Mum, I hope she is ok.

Calendargirl Sun 17-Nov-19 20:21:00

It’s absolutely awful. The only good thing is that your mother wasn’t hurt, sometimes you see dreadful pictures on the news of elderly victims with blackened eyes and broken bones after a robbery. I can only imagine how upsetting this has been for you also.

annep1 Sun 17-Nov-19 21:56:51

When you are a decent honest caring person it's hard to believe there are people who just have no conscience whatever. They don't care who they hurt or what they take.
It makes you want to see prison sentences including hard labour rather than the cushy time offenders have at present.

Urmstongran Sun 17-Nov-19 22:05:42

This is indeed a truly shocking tale. x

Luckygirl Sun 17-Nov-19 22:12:49

That is dreadful - and non-one's fault but the burglar himself. Your poor Mum.

Callistemon Sun 17-Nov-19 22:14:14

This always makes me so angry when I hear of burglars, muggers, scammers etc. taking advantage of elderly, vulnerable people.

Despicable cowards.

I hope they catch them, Freeandeasy and that your mother, thankfully, is not traumatised.

Callistemon Sun 17-Nov-19 22:16:36

moggie and others, your stories are truly shocking.

luluaugust Mon 18-Nov-19 10:34:44

So sorry to read this and glad your mum wasn't harmed. My mum was in sheltered accommodation for many years and loads of the residents left their doors open on the assumption that nobody could get in. They also did it to save on their heating bills as the warm corridors heated the flats. We persuaded mum to keep her door closed. flowers

Aepgirl Mon 18-Nov-19 10:42:10

This is certainly not the security you expect from sheltered housing, and I would be asking questions of the warden and staff as to why there were no cameras or other devices to stop intrudes getting in. I expect your mother pays maintenance fees which should cover security as well.

Sparklefizz Mon 18-Nov-19 10:46:21

So sorry to read everyone's stories on here. There truly are some horrible people around.

Well done to your Mum Magpie for being on the ball and not letting in that young woman.

flowers for all of you.

Dee1012 Mon 18-Nov-19 10:46:22

Can I suggest you have a chat with Victim Support, they really are good and could maybe advise further re' crime prevention etc.
Sometimes it's also necessary to talk about how YOU feel, I work in criminal justice and the ripples of any crime often hit more than the victim.

Just before my Dad passed away, he was attacked in the street. It was early evening and he'd been to the shop for his local paper...he was hit and pushed to the floor and the guy, went through his pockets etc. My Dad was in his 70's and had suffered 2 strokes - I can remember saying to the Police officer that if he was caught then he better go to prison because I'd be waiting for him angry.
He wasn't caught and I can absolutely understand your anger.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 18-Nov-19 10:53:16

How horrible both for you, your mum and the other lady.

You couldn't have prevented this, as you had tried to persuade your mother to keep her door locked.

Have a chat with her now, and see whether she is now willing to lock her door.

Do check her insurance, it might just be possible to get some compensation for the stolen rings.

Now is the time to persuade your mother to keep valuable items in a bank box at her bank. I know you can get small safes for domestic use, but the next burglar might well threaten her into giving him the code if she had one.

I fully share your indignation at anyone stooping so low as to rob two old ladies in a care home.