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Appeal after elderly woman burgled – Coalpit Heath

Police hats on a car dashboard

We’re appealing for witnesses and information after four men broke into the home of an elderly woman in Boundary Road, Coalpit Heath.

It happened during the afternoon of Wednesday 18 November and was reported at about 6.20pm, after the woman’s son came home.

The men forced the front door and told the woman, who is in her 80s, to stay in her chair.

They searched the upstairs rooms and took a freestanding safe which contained items belonging to the woman’s son including:

  • Cash and personal papers
  • A silver pocket watch engraved ‘H Samuel Liverpool’
  • An Ingersoll pocket watch in a leather case which is of sentimental value to the victim having belonged to his grandfather
  • A Windows Vista computer

They also took cash from the woman’s handbag.

The suspects were all white and wore surgical masks. One wore a light blue hooded top.

The empty safe and some paperwork and other items were found dumped on land off Hambrook Lane near its junction with Harry Stoke Lane and Church Road, Stoke Gifford, by a member of the public. It has been seized by officers.

We’ve carried out house-to-house enquiries in the area and sent out a Neighbourhood Watch alert.

To keep your home and belongings safe, follow these steps:

  • Make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked, if you’re not in the room, before you go out and before you go to bed. Set the alarm if you have one
  • Always double-lock uPVC doors using the key as well as lifting the handle
  • Ideally keep jewellery with a secure storage company, as thieves have been known to steal whole safes. If you do use a safe make sure you invest in a good quality one that’s professionally fitted and mounted to a solid wall or floor
  • Take photos of your valuables and write a short description of each one
  • Mark your jewellery with a forensic security liquid
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home. Store it in a bank, building society or post office account
  • Install burglar alarms and CCTV
  • Join Neighbourhood Watch

Always tell us about any suspicious activity as it happens by calling 101. Remember to pass on vehicle details and descriptions. If you think a crime is underway, it’s always 999.

For more information on how to protect your house from burglary visit our advice page.

If you were in the Boundary Road area on Wednesday afternoon and saw anyone acting suspiciously, or saw the items being dumped off Hambrook Lane, please call 101 quoting reference 5220260668.
Officers are especially keen to hear from you if you have any dashcam, CCTV or smart doorbell footage which could help.
Alternatively ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never tell the police who you are, just what you know.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.