A raider held down a man in his 70s while three accomplices ransacked his home yesterday in what police have called a ‘callous attack’.
The thugs barged into the property in Mitchell Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, at about 5pm after the pensioner asked for identification when they claimed they worked for the water board.
One of the men then held the resident down while the other three carried out a search of his home.
The pensioner managed to get away and raise the alarm at about 5.35pm, but his home was ransacked before the offenders fled and police say he was ‘left very shaken but uninjured’.
Suffolk Police say it is not yet clear what was stolen and detectives are continuing to work with the resident to get more information about the offenders.
But Det Insp Andrew Smethurst said the man, who was physically unharmed, was severely shaken by the attack.
He added: “This was a very unpleasant attack on an elderly gentleman. It was a completely callous attack.
“This is a level of force that’s not required – it’s completely uncalled for.”
The four have initially been all been described as wearing dark scarves, partially their over their faces, and dark hats. One is believed to have worn a green flat cap and all are thought to be white and in their 20s, but detectives are hoping to get more information from the man, who is being supported by his family, when he has had time to recover.
Det Insp Smethhurst said: “I’m concerned there are people out there willing to do this and want to catch them as soon as we can.
“That’s why I’m appealing to the public in the Mitchell Avenue area at this time to give us a call. They may have seen something and not realised it.
“It’s a busy road at a busy time of day so there will have been other people around, so if someone saw anyone coming out of the property or, perhaps, driving off fast, call us.”
He stressed that the attack was ‘extremely rare’ and that most burglaries happen when the occupants are out.
Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area between 4.30pm and 6pm.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about the incident or those involved to call Bury St Edmunds CID on 101, quoting crime number 10469/17.
Suffolk Police say they are ‘keeping an open mind’ on whether there is a connection between the Bury attack and an incident in Dales Road, Ipswich, at about 8.15pm on Wednesday after a man i n his 60s was struck with an iron bar while challenging three men in balaclavas at his conservatory door.
Anyone with information about that incident should call Ipswich CID on 101 quoting 10640/17.
In either case you can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.