A community has been left in shock after a knife weilding thug put two Gainsborough pensioners through a terrible ordeal when he tied them up and robbed them.
Officers are appealing for information about two ‘unusual, cold and calculated’ burglaries which took place on Sunday night.
Elderly residents living alone were the victims in both incidents – a man in his 70s in Portland Terrace and a woman in her 80s in Ropery Road.
In both cases the offender, a white man, of a slim, skinny build and in his 20s, tied them up.
The first case reported was the woman, who is 88 years old.
Having managed to set herself free, she reported at 8.30pm that her mobile phone and £80 in cash had been stolen by a male who had forced his way into her home.
A 75 year old man later reported at 11.30pm that the same thing had happened to him, and his mobile had been taken along with his wallet and bank card.
He had been threatened with a knife which led to him disclosing his pin number.
This victim had also managed to free himself but had injured his hand.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Grayson, said: “We strongly believe that these incidents are linked and we are treating this extremely seriously.
“Whoever has committed these appalling crimes is someone that we need to detain and quickly.
“This morning we will have an increased police presence in Gainsborough and will be knocking on peoples doors appealing for information. A team of detectives will be working on the investigation following up various lines of enquiry and reviewing CCTV.
“If you did see or hear anything suspicious last night or if you know who is responsible for these crimes please get in touch with me by calling 101 – your information could greatly improve our investigation.
“Finally can I please ask that if you live in the area and have elderly neighbours or family members in the town please visit them, check they are ok and call the police if you have any concerns.”
Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh said: “Attacking and robbing pensioners in their homes is a particularly callow crime. Acts like this are not usual in Lincolnshire and I’m confident the police will devote special attention to capturing the culprit or culprits. I encourage everyone in the area to cooperate with their inquiries.”
Gainsborough North councillor Matthew Boles, added: “These incidents are appalling and obviously very serious.
“I would urge witnesses and anyone with information who might have seen anything to come forward and assist the police.
“People who do these kinds of things need to be dealt with and arrested, we don’t need this sort of thing happening in our town.”
The incidents sparked outrage on the Gainsborough Standard Facebook page.
Liam O’Brien wrote: “Realistically theres no deterrant anymore. even if they get caught the courts will either release them with a slap on the wrist or give them a really pathetic sentence.
Chris Aitchison said: “This is so bad them poor people having to deal with mindless thugs.it is disgusting hope they catch this low life.”