Police are appealing for witnesses following a distraction burglary at an elderly man’s home in Poughill. The offence happened between 4.45pm and 4.55pm on Monday, April 29.
However, the Bude community weren’t going to let this go quietly and have pulled together and a Go Fund Me page has been set up to try and raise funds to replace those which were stolen from the man’s house.
The page was set up by the moderators of the social media group page ‘Bude Banter’.
One of the moderators, Nigel Kenneally, said: “We — the moderators on Bude Banter — set it up because we hated hearing about an elderly gentleman getting robbed, and I know our page is mainly about the jokes, but we felt that in this instance we could help out a bit.
“We are also looking into getting some CCTV provided for him, but we are waiting for a neighbour of his to get back to us, to let us know if he’s ok with this. I must say this isn’t just me, it’s the whole moderator team and the whole of the Bude Banter forum that have got behind this. To be honest we are blown away by their generosity.”
The Go Fund Me page aimed to raise £1,000 for the gentleman. So far the collective efforts of the town has raised £1,475. The page can be found at www.gofundme.com/lets-help-out-the-elderly-gentleman-who-was-robbed
PCSO Stuart Baxter from the Bude Neighbourhood Police Team said: “A male approached the house pertaining to be from a utilities company working in the lane next to the gentleman’s house.
“While speaking to the gentleman he entered the house and went out to the rear utility area of the property saying it was a good place to store equipment. Whilst distracted, and forgetting that the front door was unlocked, another unknown male entered the property and search a room adjacent to the front door where a quantity of cash was taken. The first man then made his excuses and left. The incident probably took all of 15 seconds.
“It wasn’t until a little later, after the men had left that the gentleman discovered the tin which contained the cash was not where he had left it and was empty and under a chest of drawers.”
Following the incident the Neighbourhood Policing Team attended the property to speak to the gentleman. PCSO Baxter said: “I personally visited the gentleman yesterday [May 1] and gave him some security and cold caller advice. Cornwall Council will be visiting him tomorrow [May 3] to discuss security as well, as he is a council tenant, and will look to upgrade his back door and get a chain fitted in his front door — so that side of things is all in hand.
“I believe a collection post has gone up on Facebook to help recoup some of the gentleman’s money by good will and another gentleman has offered free installation of CCTV — but this is all inconclusive as yet.”
PCSO Baxter added: “More information has come in today [May 2] following our post on Bude Police Team’s Facebook page and the investigation is on going. Anyone with information is asked to get in touch.”
Confirming details of the incident, a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “A man called at the victim’s house and asked if he would be willing to store equipment in his garden as he was working on land nearby.
“While distracted in the garden it is believed that a second man entered the address and stole a quantity of cash. The two men then walked off in the direction of Northcott Mouth Road.
“The victim was left extremely distressed by the incident. Police are investigating and have issued a description of one of the men, they said: “He was white, tall, of large build and had a foreign accent.”