Jailed: cruel burglars who targeted elderly

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.
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Two men have been jailed for 14 years in total for burgling the homes of elderly people across East Lancashire in January this year.

Robert Lodge and Andrew Rubery pretended to be electricians to burgle homes in Padiham. Colne and Kelbrook, where they stole cash, cheque books and personal items from four victims aged between 63 and 88.

The pair were sentenced at Burnley Crown Court after pleading guilty to four counts of burglary for offences which took place in Colne Road, Kelbrook, Birtwistle Avenue, Colne, and Dryden Street, Padiham, on January 13th, 14th and 19th.

Lodge (25), from the Wakefield area, and Rubery (24), of Bradford, but both of no fixed address, were sentenced to seven years each in prison.

Speaking after the conclusion of the case, Sophie Lorimer, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “These two men were deliberately targeting the homes of elderly people in order to burgle their homes.

“Over a five-day period, they stole money, identification documents and personal items from people who clearly lived in sheltered bungalows.

“They duped the victims into letting them into their houses by masquerading as electricians.

“Once inside, they rifled through personal belongings and left again so quickly the victims were hardly aware of what had just happened.

“Telephone records and a red golf insured by Robert Lodge placed them in the area at the times the burglaries took place.

“The evidence against them was so overwhelming they were left with no alternative but to plead guilty to the burglaries. These sentences should send out a clear warning to others that think they can target the elderly in our society without recourse, we will continue to work closely with the police to pursue anyone involved in this type of criminality and bring them before the courts.”

Also commenting after the sentencing, Sgt Kim De Curtis, from Colne and West Craven Police, added: “The offenders posed as being from an electrical company needing to check sockets, going from room to room stealing bank cards and savings.

“All the victims outlined how the offender came across as very polite, inquiring into their ailments, disabilities and showing what they believed to be genuine compassion.

“This was obviously part of the offender’s intention to gain their trust which afterwards has had an upsetting effect upon them, with one victim moving to live with extended family that day in Hull, after living in Kelbrook all his life.”