Family's appeal to find thieves who duped blind Brierfield pensioner (87) in his own home as his wife lay dying upstairs
Heartbreaking CCTV footage of thieves entering the home of an 87-year-old blind man, while his wife lay dying upstairs, has been released by the victims' distraught family.
Believing that the thieves were helping him by ringing for an ambulance, Ronald Crowther went upstairs to be with his wife Dorothy, who had suffered an aneurysm and later died in her bed.
But the culprits helped themselves to cash and a iphone from 84-year-old Dorothy's handbag,which had been left on a table downstairs, before fleeing the house in Walter Street, Brierfield, at 3am last Friday.
The thieves were captured on neighbour's CCTV camera and this has been released on social media by the Crowthers' only daughter, Janet Crowther Hindley, who has made an appeal for the public to help find them
Janet said: "We as a family are trying to deal with the loss of my mother and the added stress and worry of knowing people like these two are still out and about is utterly heartbreaking.
"This is being dealt with by the police but if anyone knows who these vile people are please let us know."
Heartbreaking images on the CCTV footage show Ronald in the street knocking on neighbours' doors in a bid to get help seconds before the thieves arrive on the scene.
Janet's husband Steve said: "As he opened the door of the house to come out again the couple were stood there so he asked for their help to ring an ambulance.
"They told him they would and the footage shows them with a phone and they look at the number of the house so it is not clear if they made that call before they go inside and Ronald goes upstairs to be with Dorothy.
" But we believe it was a neighbour who rang for the ambulance."
After leaving the house the couple can be seen on camera wiping fingerprints from the door handle before running off. Before the theft at the Crowthers' home there is footage of the duo trying all the front door handles of houses on the street.
Steve added: "The thieves took advantage of Ronald and Dorothy when they were in a time of real need."
Married for over 60 years the loving couple had lived in the same home, that belonged to Dorothy's parents, all their married life.
After he was blinded in a works accident in the 1970s former dinner lady Dorothy had devoted her life to taking care of Ronald. Popular and well liked in the community, the Crowthers were even voted as the Best Couple in Brierfield 10 years ago.
Steve added: "Neither of them has a bad bone in their body.
"Ronald is still coming to terms with what has happened at the moment."