Thieves target the elderly in copper theft

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METAL thieves who targeted the homes of elderly residents in Burnley, leaving them without gas for heating and cooking, are being hunted by police.

Officers were called to a sheltered accommodation block in Leamington Avenue between 5am and 6am on Wednesday, October 31st, after a 71-year-old woman reported hearing someone in the back garden of her flat.

A police search revealed the copper piping on the outside wall of the premises connecting the gas meter to the gas supply to both the victim’s property and two other neighbouring properties had been removed and several others tampered with.

Patrols have been stepped up in the area to reassure residents and police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Lanehead community beat manager PC Lisa Hodgkinson said: “This is a serious offence which has left elderly and vulnerable people with no gas for cooking and heating.

“The pipes have also been left uncapped and in dangerous state, all for the sake of a piece of scrap metal.

“I would appeal to anybody that witnessed this theft or with any information that could assist police with their inquiries to come forward and contact Lancashire Police on 101.”

People with information can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.