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Police hunt for Black Country burglars intensifies

Police officers are intensifying their efforts to find those responsible for a series of break-ins across the Black Country after several more were reported overnight.

Four masked men struck in Penn Fields, Wolverhampton, where they forced entry to a property and assaulted a 75-year-old woman before stealing jewellery. In Walsall, a masked man forced entry to the home of an 87-year-old woman purporting to be a police officer, before taking jewellery and cash from her bedroom.

In two other incidents in Smethwick and Tipton, offenders attempted to gain access to properties, but the occupants were successful in foiling their attempts and they left empty-handed. And in Coseley a video doorbell deterred four masked and gloved men who made off in a vehicle.

The offenders have used a variety of ways to gain entry to properties from brute force to pretence of authority representatives, such as the ‘water board’ and even police officers.

A team of detectives are now working through CCTV and exploring forensic opportunities from the break-ins to help catch those responsible. And extra officers have been drafted in to patrol the areas affected to offer reassurance to residents.

Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner said: "This is the top priority for police in the Black Country at present and there’s a dedicated team of detectives working round the clock to identify those responsible for this terrible series of break in’s targeting elderly, vulnerable people in our communities.

“We’re working closely with our partners, particularly those in the health and social sector and trusted charities to raise their awareness of what’s happening, so that they can pass relevant information and advice on to elderly people they come into contact with on a day to day basis.

“We’re asking the public to help by taking a look at the CCTV and contacting us if they have information that could help us identify the people in the images.

“We also need them to be vigilant and look out for friends, relatives and other people in their neighbourhoods. We’re particularly keen for them to report any suspicious activity in their area to us.

“A considerable number of the break ins have happened in the afternoon between 6pm and 9pm, and so if people have seen cars or individuals that are not usually in their street, are new to the area, or seem suspicious for any reason, then I’d urge them to report those concerns to us as soon as possible.”

If you have any information about the on-going enquiry please get in touch via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk 8am – midnight, or call 101 anytime. In an emergency dial 999 immediately.

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