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Six years jail for ‘bogus official’ thief who targeted elderly

A man who once burgled his own granddad’s home is back behind bars after West Midlands Police linked him to ‘bogus official’ burglaries against three women in their nineties.

Christopher Roberts tricked his way into the homes of three Bloxwich pensioners - two aged 94 and a 92-year-old - between 17 and 24 January having posed as a gardener, plumber and energy firm employee.

He made off empty handed from two addresses but on 24 January swiped a purse containing £80 in cash having told the 94-year-old resident he’d been sent to read her gas and electricity meters.

An alert West Midlands Police staff member spotted a man wearing a high-visibility coat and acting suspiciously in Elmore Green Road on 22 January.

She doubled back to get a good look at the man and, having carried out checks on police systems, later identified 33-year-old Roberts as the suspect.

Christopher Roberts

He was arrested on 25 January from an address in Bloxwich where officers recovered a fluorescent jacket and distinctive rucksack used to commit the offences.

Roberts, from South Road in Birmingham, went on to admit four burglaries, including one against a 24-year-old man with severe learning difficulties after climbing through a bathroom window at his assisted living apartment on 24 January. 

And at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday (25 Feb) he was jailed for six years.

Sergeant Stephen Davis from the High Harm and Vulnerability Team in Bloxwich, said: “Roberts has no morals: he has a previous conviction for burgling his granddad’s home and thought nothing of targeting elderly, vulnerable women to fund his drug habit.

“Praise must go to the West Midlands Police staff member who spotted Roberts hanging around the homes of elderly people, looking shifty, and used her initiative to get a good look at him and then identify Roberts.

“We don’t believe he made off with anything more than a purse and perhaps some loose change. But the length of the prison term handed to him shows that the courts will take a tough stance against people who target the most vulnerable in our communities."

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