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Elderly cancer victim targeted in ransack raids

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 14, 2014

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CALLOUS thieves have ransacked and attempted to flood four Burton homes - including that of an elderly cancer victim.

The heartless crooks doused doors and furniture in ketchup, oil and cleaning products in some properties and left taps running in others.

The four homes, in Stapenhill and Winshill, were broken into during daylight hours on Thursday, April 10.

Sergeant Bob Champeau (pictured), based at Burton Police Station, said he believed the break-ins were linked.

He said: “This is due to the modus operandi used.

“Each house has been secured but has been forced open and damage caused inside.

“I feel particularly angry, and sorry for the victims who have had to deal with not only the trauma of criminals breaking into their homes, but also having the added grief of damage caused - it is unacceptable.”

The crooks turned over a home in Ashby Street, where they squirted oil and ketchup over household furniture and stole clothing.

They fled with a £170 pair of sunglasses, four pairs of size eight Nike trainers, a grey man’s suit, two pairs of size five women’s Hugo shoes, Timberland boots and slippers.

They attempted to flood a home in Siddalls Street, where 75-year-old prostate cancer sufferer Michael Hutton lives with his wife Ann.

A ladies Michael Kors watch, a silver bracelet watch, 600 Polish cigarettes, and cash was stolen from a home in Cherry Tree Road.

The thieves also stole jewellery from an address in Osborne Street.

Sgt Champeau said he believed the crooks also attempted to target others homes.

He said: “I want to speak to anyone who had unannounced calls.

“Burglars will often knock on doors to make suer nobody is in so it may be they have spoken to people either before or after committing these burglaries.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Sgt Champeau added that Crimestoppers could offer a reward for information.

A CANCER victim targeted in a spate of destructive break-ins has spoken out in defiance against the heartless crooks who tried to flood him home.

Michael Hutton, 75, of Siddalls Street, Burton, told the Mail he and his 77-year-old wife Ann will take the burglary ‘in their stride’.

The couple were left picking up the pieces after they returned home to find burglars had rifled through draws, doused cleaning fluid across doors and left taps running in an effort to flood the house.

They also plundered £30 of cash which the couple had earmarked their grandson’s holiday.

Mr Hutton, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago, told the Mail: “This is just a fact of life.

“These people are either wastefuls or they felt like doing it.

“It took us two days to clear it up so it was quite messy, but we took it in our stride.”

The couple had been out when burglars struck between 11am and 1.45pm on Thursday, April 10.

Mr Hutton said: “When I came back I opened the front door and saw the door to the kitchen was open and I could hear water running.

“I went and switched the tap off.

“Most of it had gone down the drain I’m pleased to say because they had forgotten to put the plug in, there was only a little on the floor.

“Upstairs they had dumped all the bedding from a cupboard in one room and they had tipped a collection of shredding all over the place.”

Mr Hutton added that he now plans to install security cameras.

THE moment it dawned on Sinhead O’Hara that her home had been burgled was when saw the mess from draws which had been tipped out in her hallway.

Among the items thieves stole when they ransacked the 23-year-old’s home, in Osborne Street, was a sentimental gold crucifix necklace given to Miss O’Hara after her grandmother’s death last month.

A 1964 gold Omega watch belonging to Miss O’Hara’s mother was also stolen in the raid on the home, which she shares with her parents.

She said: “I left at midday and came back at about 3.30pm, I opened the front door and the draws in the hallway had been pulled out, and the door under the stairs was wide open.

“It was then I realised I had been burgled, there was a lot of mess.

“The back door was open as well, I think they had used screwdrivers to get it open.

“It’s shocking and upsetting, when I realised my nan’s necklace was missing I was really upset – these are sentimental items.

“It’s shocking, the thought of a stranger in your house while you’re out.

“But the police have been very good and have kept us informed.”

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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